Lancaster County Real Estate Market Report March 9, 2010

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Homesale Services Group

Things are happening!  Over the weekend the weather was beautiful, and Monday I received several calls from buyers that I had not heard from for a while.  Other agents are seeing activity as well.

Here are the numbers from my March 7, 2010 searches in the Lancaster County MLS:

                 Active Listings   UA Listings   Ratio     Prior year Ratio

Mar 7, 2010     3,089               666      21.56%       19.38%
Feb 6, 2010     2,931               554      18.90%       16.37%                (keep in mind that this is useful
Jan 7, 2010     2,772               413      14.89%       16.05%                in watching trends emerge and
Dec 7, 2009     2,873               439      15.28%       18.19%                change in the market)
Nov 4, 2009     2,907               641      22.05%       20.43%

In studying the above table, we can observe that February 2010 and March 2010 ratios are stronger than those months were last year.  December 2009 and January 2010 were weaker than the prior year, but overall since September 2009 we've enjoyed a more robust market than the prior year.  There are still concerns in the economy about unemployment and other issues, but they are easing a bit and it seems like the overall picture is improving.  People are moving because something is changing in their life, and moving to a different home is appropriate.  They are doing this because of their needs, not because of how the market is.

The breakdown of the ratio for each of the price ranges is:
                                                # Active              # UA      Ratio
                 Up to    $50,000            85                   26        30.59%
$50,001      to         $100,000         244                  61        25.00%
$100,001    to         $150,000         426                 149       34.98%
$150,001    to         $200,000         747                 214       28.65%
$200,001    to         $250,000         489                 106       21.68%
$250,001    to         $300,000         421                  64        15.20%
$300,001    to         $400,000         353                  27         7.65%
$400,001    to         $500,000         129                  10         7.75%
$500,001    and above                   195                   9          4.62%

With these numbers we can see that strength lies mostly in the ranges from $100,000 to $250,000.  The higher price range properties are languishing on the market longer.

The Lancaster County Association of Realtors® publication House Calls reports in the March 2010 issue that pending home sales rose to 315 in January 2010, a 12.9% increase over the 279 in January 2009.  House Calls also reports that the number of new listings increased 25.9%, and settled homes were up 4.2% over January 2009.  Together these numbers point to an improvement in the environment for people selling a home.  Interest rates are still low which creates a favorable environment for buyers.

If you know someone who is thinking of buying or selling, please recommend they call me.  I'll also be happy to contact them if that is appropriate.

By the way, I'm never to busy to take care of clients you refer to me.

Prepared by:   J. Merle Sollenberger, GRI, CRS, Associate Broker, Realtor®
Prudential Homesale Services Group
150 North Point Boulevard, Lancaster, PA 17601
717-560-9100     www.msollenberger.com        msollenberger@topproducer.com

Licensed in PA

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Merle J. Sollenberger

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