Market Snapshot

According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 36 million Americans moved in 2013.  This is approximately 12% of all Americans – – a number similar to the year 2012.

As reported in a prior blog, rentals continue to be a large percentage of all relocations.  Nearly 25% of renters relocated in 2013 while only 5.1% of homeowners moved.

Interestingly enough, approximately 2/3 of those who relocated stayed in the same County and over 40% moved a distance of less than 50 miles.  According to the US Census Bureau report referenced above, long distance moves made up only 25% of relocations.

The North East, surprisingly to me, had the lowest mover rate among regions.  The Mid-West was first, South second and West third.

More locally, the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors reported that December 2013 showed an increase in units sold and median price as compared to December 2012.  Average Days on Market, what I consider to be the most important statistic when evaluating the market, actually increased just a tad from 99 days in 2012 to 97 days in 2012 in the Greater Harrisburg Area.  In Cumberland County, however, Days on Market declined from 90 to 88 and the average sale price increased from $200,874 to $227,382.  Clearly, we are seeing an improvement.

I have mentioned in prior blogs that the number of young people renting or moving home is having an adverse effect on the first time buyer market, which, in turn, affects the trade up market.  In addition, we are still absorbing foreclosure properties here in our market.  This problem has proven to be more extensive than previously thought.

The Harrisburg/Carlisle Metro market experienced a 4.1% DEPRECIATION in property values over the past six years.  2013 showed a -.05 decline in values.  More positively however, is that the third quarter of 2013 showed a +0.1 increase – – the first time in several years.

At Wolfe & Company Realtors, we are off to a very good start for 2014.  Personally, I have already settled $3.5 million worth of transactions and have a good pipeline of pending sales for the balance of the first quarter and into the second.  Our secret is to properly price our listing inventory and simply turn down listing opportunities where the seller’s expectations of value are unrealistic.  Similarly, maintaining our strong base of connections with several of the largest employers and institutions in the area provides us a much better “buyer base” than many of our competitors.

For simply the best Real Estate service available in South Central Pennsylvania, contact Wolfe & Company Realtors.  EXPERIENCE MATTERS!!

Ray “Buz” Wolfe, Jr.
Broker/Owner
Wolfe & Company Realtors

*Ray L. “Buz” Wolfe, Jr. is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  He is not an attorney and is not licensed to practice law.  No comments made within the confines of his blog should be construed as legal advice.

**All statistics cited obtained from Central Penn MLS are believed, but not guaranteed, to be accurate.

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“Boomerang Buyers”

Just what in the world is a “Boomerang Buyer”?  I wondered the same thing until I recently read an article provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.

 “Boomerang Buyers” are those who previously allowed their home to fall into foreclosure but are ready to re-enter the housing market.  Nearly 80% of consumers who lost their homes during the financial crisis are interested in buying again and 41% say their income say their income is higher than when they first purchased the property.  The “Boomerang Buyers” say their debt obligations have lessened and that they are willing to invest more into the purchase of a new property than they were in the past – – over 50% indicating that they would make a down payment of 10% or more as part of their next home purchase.

The PAR Article by Diane Dietz goes on to site John Maddux, co-founder of AfterForeclosure.com, in evaluating the importance of having this pool of buyers return to the market.  Many college students are graduating with significant debt, limited employment options and little faith in what they have seen as a shaky housing market.  Baby Boomers are aging in elevated numbers.  Maddux indicates that there are “literally millions of ex-homeowners who may be qualified to buy a new home again”.

As noted in a previous blog, Pennsylvania is higher than the national average in terms of the number of homes in foreclosure or other form of delinquency.  Actually, we rank 5th.  This suggests that while the Keystone State made it though the recession better than some, there may be a lagging recovery.  Economic and housing statistics seem to confirm this notion.  The fact that Pennsylvania has the 9th slowest population growth rate also contributes to the demand for homes.

The good news, again according to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, is that statewide housing trends showed positive momentum in 2013 and an actual increase in sales over 2012.  Home sales increased nearly 7% in the 4th quarter of 2013 with a gain of nearly 12% over the previous year.  This is very consistent with what we have observed at Wolfe & Company Realtors with a strong 4th quarter finish and a very busy and optimistic pace already for 2014.  It appears to be a steadily improving market where prices are continuing to rise and days on market are continuing to slowly decline.

Finally, the numbers are in for 2013 and I can report again being the Carlisle Area’s top producing independent Broker.  Wolfe & Company Realtor’s office market share was 4th among the more than 50 real estate companies doing business within the Greater Carlisle Area.  The three companies that beat our office sales volume have an average of 23 agents per office.  We have 10 agents dedicated to the sale of residential property.  I am proud of these numbers and believe that 2014 will show significant increase in both my personal production – – already with $5 million of pending transactions for the 1st quarter – – and the overall market share position of our office as a whole.

As always, for the highest level of professional real estate service within the Greater Carlisle Area, contact the HOME TEAM at Wolfe and Company Realtors!

Ray “Buz” Wolfe, Jr.
Broker/Owner
Wolfe & Company Realtors

*Ray L. “Buz” Wolfe, Jr. is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  He is not an attorney and is not licensed to practice law.  No comments made within the confines of his blog should be construed as legal advice.

**All statistics cited obtained from Central Penn MLS are believed, but not guaranteed, to be accurate.

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