New Castle County Delaware Real Estate Update

So what’s happening in New Castle County Delaware real estate today? –  A bit of a slog but a few signs of Spring.
 

Rockford Tower Wilmington Delaware

As noted in my last post on New Castle County, the market here experienced the same drop in activity that we saw region wide.  Since then, again like other areas, it has continued to struggle.  Closed sales have continued at the slowest pace seen in years, but recently we have seen an uptick in new properties going under contract.  We may be seeing the beginning of a more solid market.

First Some History:

For all New Castle County, prices and sales activity rose from a sales pace of 7689 properties at an average price of less than $200,000 in 2003 , to a peak sales rate of 8285 homes at an average price of $245,000 in 2005.  Prices continued to rise to a peak price of $266,000 in 2007 but sales during this same period had declined to a rate of 6880 units.  In 2008, both prices and activity declined as the average price fell to $259,000 with only 4883 sales.

In 2009, sales for the first two months continued to decline with only 220 home settlements in January and 254 in February.  This was down 28% from the same time period in 2008.  Prices have also declined to an average price of $238,000.  On a good note, there has been an uptick in pending properties.  New properties under contract rose a bit with 332 new contracts in January and 345 in February.  This pace was only down 21% from the same period in 2008 and up 31% from the last two months of 2008.

Bottom Line:

BrandywineAlthough it remains unclear if we have reached a floor, there are signs that we could have a fairly strong spring.  The increase in new properties going under contract will inevitably lead to increased sales and this should tend to free up activity as sellers look to move up.  The market as a whole should benefit both from both the decline in prices/mortgage rates and the pent up demand resulting from the recent below normal sales rate.  If Washington and the Treasury Department can show any leadership, the market could firm fairly quickly.  With historically low interest rates, increased inventory, and declining home values, this is actually one of the best times to purchase properties we have seen in years.  Will it hold? – Too soon to tell, but it appears we are now beginning to move in the right direction.

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