by Buz Wolfe
As we find ourselves squarely into the traditional busy spring market, I thought I would pass along some “tid-bits” that I have taken from the numerous trade publications that I review frequently. For the most part, it remains good news:
Real Estate again named best long term investment. That is according to a recent Gallup Survey where respondents chose real estate ahead of stocks, gold, savings accounts, CD’s or bonds as the best long term investment. Real Estate also took the top spot last year.
- The most popular home improvement projects. In Pennsylvania, which differed from other parts of the country, HVAC services ranked first. Door installation, in Pennsylvania, came in second. Third was actually pest control. It appears to me that our conservative “Pennsylvania Dutch” characteristics are alive and well!
- Housing market shows healthy activity with sales up. The Pennsylvania housing market saw an 11% jump in closed sales in the first quarter of 2015 according to a report published by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
- In Pennsylvania, median prices rose to $158,000 and Days On Market remains steady at 95 days. Locally, these figures are about $189,000 and 105 days.
- 1st time buyers are beginning to enter the market. Thanks to continued low interest rates and recent changes by the FHA which lowered mortgage insurance premiums, younger and entry level buyers are beginning to again enter the market place. 30 year fixed mortgage rates remain below 4%!
- High consumer optimism exists among consumers. According to a Fannie Mae February 2015 housing survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Without question, increasing home sales benefit the overall economic recovery. Many related industries benefit from a strong housing market.
- Cumberland County has seen the largest increase in housing units and residential building permits. Cumberland County remains the fastest growing of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Over 71% of the homes in Cumberland County are actually owner-occupied.
- Word of mouth and good customer services continue to be a Realtors greatest marketing asset. 55% of recent home buyers indicated that they hired a Realtor based on a friend or family member’s recommendation or by using a Realtor that they had used in the past. This is no surprise to us – the large majority of our business at Wolfe & Company Realtors comes from satisfied past clients or clients referred to us by others.
Our first quarter of 2015 will rank among the best ever. The month of April was the single best month for Wolfe & Company settled transactions in nearly 10 years. We remain very busy – – but never too busy to provide you , your friends, relatives or others the highest level of personalized assistance available within the Greater Carlisle Area.
Credit to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors JUST LISTED column as well as studies available through the Central Penn Business Journal and the Residential Specialist CRS Magazine for many of the above statistics.
*Ray L. “Buz” Wolfe, CRS has been Broker/Owner of his own firm since 1986. In 2014, he was again the Carlisle Area’s Top Producing Broker with $10,000,000 in settled transactions.
**All information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.