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

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Homesale Services Group

                 Active Listings   UA Listings   Ratio     Prior year Ratio
May 7, 2010    3,301            1,040      31.51%       28.15%
Apr 7, 2010     3,344               830      24.82%       22.44%
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%

With everything going on I did not get to prepare and distribute an April 2010 Market Report.  In 2009 things were much slower, so I am pleased with the higher level of activity in 2010.

Looking at the month to month trends last year and this year we see a stronger improvement in the UA/A ratio from April to May 2010 than we did in 2009.  Some of that may be due to the tax credit incentive that expired on April 30, 2010.  It will be interesting to see what happens in May 2010 now that the credit has expired.

In studying the above table, we can observe that several monthly ratios are stronger than those months were last year.  Some 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 in some ways.  The fiscal uncertainty in the European economy is currently weighing on world financial markets.  Greece, Spain and other countries are dealing with significant challenges in their financial systems, and the implications of that are felt throughout the world.

The breakdown of the ratio for each of the price ranges is:
                                                       March 2010 Ratio      May 2010 Ratio
          Up to   $50,000                        30.59%                         34.29%
$50,001           to         $100,000         25.00%                        39.02%
$100,001         to         $150,000         34.98%                        52.01%
$150,001         to         $200,000         28.65%                        40.20%
$200,001         to         $250,000         21.68%                        31.12%
$250,001         to         $300,000         15.20%                        20.33%
$300,001         to         $400,000          7.65%                         17.36%
$400,001         to         $500,000          7.75%                         16.18%
$500,001         and above                    4.62%                           5.02%

With these numbers we can see again that strength lies mostly in the ranges from $100,000 to $250,000.  The higher price range properties have improved significantly.  For the ratios in the $300,000 to $500,000 ranges to change this much there have been many that went under agreement since March.

In the May 2010 issue of the Lancaster County Association of Realtors® publication House Calls it is reported that Pending Home sales rose to 522 from 422 a year ago- a 24.2 percent increase.  House Calls also reports that the number of new listings increased over the prior year, and settled homes also increased 10.1% over the prior year for the March period.

Interest rates are still low which creates a favorable environment for buyers, thereby assisting sellers.  The government has stopped buying mortgage backed securities.  They were doing that to support the mortgage market liquidity, but stopped recently to let them market act more naturally.  Even so, we have not seen a significant increase in interest rates.  When the economy gets more active again, we will likely see rates move higher.

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  AB066078

Feel free to visit me on Facebook.com, LinkedIn.com, or Twitter.com.

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Merle J. Sollenberger

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