Should I Buy or Should I Sell Now? August 2020 Snapshot of Lancaster County, PA Real Estate Trends
Ask any local real estate professional about current market conditions and you're bound to hear that this is a seller's market. Houses are going under contract as quickly as they're being listed. But that doesn't mean that conditions aren't also highly favorable for buyers! Here are some important things to keep in mind if you're considering buying/selling your home. If you have any questions, or would like to further discuss opportunities to buy/sell in Lancaster County, please get in touch!
Days on Market (DOM): In the last 30 days, over 75% of Lancaster County homes were on the market for less than 30 days before going under contract. In many cases, offers are being put in on homes within days of a listing going active. So what does this mean?
For Sellers: You are more likely to close quickly and, depending on the characteristics of your property, may be able to sell for higher than you would have expected to a year ago. This will be based on your Realtor's Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and recommendation. You will also likely have more serious buyers and less "looky-loos" expressing interest in your home given the COVID-19 restrictions on walk-through appointments.
For Buyers: As is always the case, you should have your pre-approval in place from a bank prior to beginning your new home search. This will show that you are serious and that you are able to afford the home you want. Be prepared to have a limited inventory when looking, and for your search to take longer than you expect. Expect to compromise, and to do mainly virtual viewings until your list is narrowed down to a few key contenders. Once you're in the searching phase, things will move quickly since properties are selling fast.
2. Inventory: If the last paragraph scared you about the number of houses moving on and off the market quickly, don't despair quite yet! In the previous three weeks, new listings averaged 23/week. This last week, however, saw 80 new listings in Lancaster County! As you can see, just as the previous listings were closing with high numbers, a trove of new properties came on the market.
3. Interest Rates: Mortgage Interest Rates are dropping, making home ownership and/or moving more attainable and appealing. Buyers may be able to increase their budget based on the lower interest rates. Bill Conerly of Forbes assesses that interest rates may continue to drop in the coming weeks, but is unclear as to where the bottom will be. This is a great time to take advantage of the low rates - remember that just like the old saying "What goes up must come down," the opposite is often true of interest rates as well! The following chart was compiled by TheMortgageReports.com and shows historical mortgage rates based on Freddie Mac data, as well as predicted rates for the rest of 2020.
(Note: This chart is merely a representation of analysis conducted by TheMortgageReports.com, and does not constitute advice or binding opinion regarding consumer actions or the timing thereof.)