Lancaster County Real Estate Market Report June 9, 2010

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Homesale Services Group

Here are the numbers from my June 4, 2010 searches in the Lancaster County MLS:

                 Active Listings   UA Listings   Ratio     Prior year Ratio
Jun 4, 2010      3,310               830      25.08%       28.62%
May 7, 2010     3,301            1,040      31.51%       28.15%
Apr, 7, 2010     3,344               830      24.82%       22.44%                (keep in mind that this is useful
Mar 7, 2010     3,089               666      21.56%       19.38%                in watching trends emerge and
Feb 6, 2010     2,931               554      18.90%       16.37%                change in the market)
Jan 7, 2010     2,772               413      14.89%       16.05%

In the June 2010 issue of the Lancaster County Association of Realtors® publication House Calls it is reported that Pending Home sales in April 2010 rose to 648 from 484 a year ago- a 33.9 percent increase.  The March 2010 sales were 24% higher than March 2009.  The UA/A ratio moving from 31.51% in May 2010 to 25.08% in June 2010 points to a reversal in the trend.

Well, it seems the tax credit expiring April 30 has taken away the urgency that buyers may have felt, things got quieter in the market.  You can see from the following table that leading up to that date there was a significant increase in the number of homes going UA this year over last year.  These figures show an even more significant decline in the number of homes going under agreement in May 2010.

The following table illustrates the trend over the last 5 months and compares that to the same period in 2009.

(Number of listings that went UA in the Lancaster County FLEX MLS.)
Month  2009    2010     % change
Jan       277      310      +11.9%
Feb      309      339      +9.7%
Mar      422      518      +22.7%
Apr      477      648       +35.8%
May     461      284       -38.4%

This table shows a 38.4% decrease in number of properties going under agreement in May 2010.  With that it appears that we will see a reduction in the number of settlements in July and August 2010.  You may see news reports highlighting the increase in sales recently.  That is likely based on settled units.  It remains to be seen how the market will be in the near future.

 Interest rates are near historical lows and there is a great selection of homes on the market, making now a great time for buyers to purchase a home.  Waiting and purchasing after interest rates increase will increase the monthly payment buyers will need to pay each month, and the accumulation of that extra amount over the life of the mortgage can add up to a significant amount.

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 too busy to take great care of clients you refer to me.

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

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Merle J. Sollenberger

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