Recently, the Lancaster County Association of Realtors had a survey conducted to check on the "pulse" of Lancaster County public and their thoughts on the real estate market. The survey was sent by our member population to their clients and friends, as well as posted on www.LancasterOpenHouses.com for anyone who chose to click through and participate.
A total of 591 respondents participated at least partially and the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1%. Participants were asked to segment themselves into categories of Buyer, Seller, Plan to be in the Market in the next 12 months or Not in the Market.
Here are the highlights:
•· About 2/3 of the participants "agree" or "strongly agree" that now is a good time to buy
•· About half of the participants agree that the market is more stable and that real estate is a good investment.
•· About 3 out of 5 have spoken to a Realtor or mortgage lender to get information about the market and their ability to buy
•· 93.8% felt the Internet was a "valuable" source of information for finding homes for sale
•· 86.5% felt that their Realtor was a "valuable" source of information for finding homes for sale
•· Only 13.6% felt that the newspaper was a "valuable" source of information for finding homes for sale.
•· As for which source was "most" valuable, 69.5% felt it was the internet, 24.4% felt it was their agent .
•· About 2/3 of the respondents knew of www.LancasterOpenHouses.com and about half had actually used it. 1/3 had not heard of it at all.
•· About 2/3 of sellers agreed that it was a good time for move up buyers.
•· About half of the sellers indicated that they would like to wait for a higher price, but 40% said they would be satisfied with their current price if they get it
•· 72% of the respondents were looking at homes priced under $200,000, 43.9% were looking at homes priced between $200,000 and $300,000 while 20.7% reported looking at homes $300,000 and up. (note: respondents were allowed to choose up to 2 different price ranges)
•· Of those who plan to be in the market in the next 12 months, worry about taking on too much debt (54.2%) and the economy/job loss in general (60.6%) had the greatest affect on their decision to delay looking for a home, while worries about being able to qualify for a mortgage or a drop in home values were the least influential parts of their decision to delay
•· Of those not in the market, 75.8% stated that it was because they were "completely happy" where they currently live, 17.3% stated that now was not a good time to move for "personal" reasons and only 6.9% said they were not moving because they are "not sure it is a good time"
So, what can we take away from this?
The majority of people seem to feel that now is a good time to buy. Buyers are educating themselves independently along with talking to people in the industry. Those who are not "in the market" are not in due to personal reasons. The biggest issue on their minds seems to be fear of job loss and the economy. Consumers by and large feel that real estate in Lancaster County is holding its value and is a good investment. They have confidence in the real estate market in general.
Share this information with people who have questions about the market in Lancaster County PA. While you are sharing with them, don't forget about www.LancasterOpenHouses.com. We can do a better job promoting www.LancasterOpenHouses.com to the 93.8% of respondents who feel the internet is a valuable source of information!