by Buz Wolfe
This will likely be my last blog for 2014. Once again, we have been very blessed with a quite profitable 2014 – – the best year that we have enjoyed since 2006. I thought I would end the year just with some quick bullet points and a quick comment on each.
- Cumberland County home sales were, in the month of October, the best since 2009. This was reported by the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors and is certainly consistent with what we have experienced here at Wolfe & Company Realtors.
- House flipping in Pennsylvania is down. This was reported by California based RealtyTrac, Inc. via the Central Penn Business Journal. I have never really observed much profitable house flipping here in the Greater Carlisle Area. There are a few folks out there still trying to do it, but it is difficult and I question the potential profitability.
- First time buyer sales are down. This has been reported by various entities and most recently by the Wall Street Journal. The number of entry level buyers, as reported by the National Association of Realtors, is at its lowest level since 1987. I have commented before that the reluctance or inability of young folks to purchase their first home is depriving them of the opportunity to develop equity and affecting the overall “food chain” effect for the housing market.
- As reported by the Council of Residential Specialists, 80% of homebuyers financed their recent home purchases with the typical loan amount being 90% of purchase price. First time home buyers typically finance 95% compared to 86% for repeat buyers. This, too, is similar to what we are experiencing in our business and here in the Greater Carlisle Area.
- The same source reports that 24% of buyers reported the mortgage application and approval process was somewhat more difficult than expected and 16% reported it was much more difficult. Frankly, I am amazed that that percentage is not far higher. The process of buying a home is more complicated today than it has ever been. Ergo, the need for an EXPERIENCED Real Estate Professional to help you navigate the process.
- Nationally, median home prices have risen over the past year. Overall home ownership has declined ever so slightly reports CRS. Anecdotally, my observation would be that our local market mirrors the national trend.
I extend to you my most heartfelt wishes for the Holiday Season. Around here, we still say “Merry Christmas” and I also hope that your 2015 will be both healthy and prosperous. At Wolfe & Company, we are counting on it!
*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 information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.