Archive for July, 2011

Delaware State Parks 2011 Summer Concert Series

July 28, 2011

Don’t forget to take some time out this summer to enjoy the Delaware State Parks 2011 Summer Concert Series.

Delaware State Parks 2011 Concert SeriesOnce again the Delaware State Parks are holding their 2011 Summer Concert Series in five parks throughout the state. This year various concerts will be held in Bellevue State Park north of Wilmington, Killens Pond State Park north of Harrington, White Clay Creek State Park near Newark, Trap Pond State Park near Seaford, and Rockford Park in Wilmington.

In New Castle County, Bellevue has shows on Thursdays and Sundays, White Clay is on Wednesdays, Rockford Tower Wilmington DEand Rockford is on Mondays. Trap Pond and Killens Pond both hold their concerts on Fridays.  All the events are supported by the generous sponsorship of Inc Now, the Delaware Opthalmology Consultants, and the Delaware Division of the Arts along with Classic Realty, the Trinity Foundation, the Friends of Killen Pond, Trap Pond Partners, and the Friends of White Clay Creek.

This year the concerts began in June and will continue through August. All the concerts are free to the public although park entrance fees may be applicable.

Be sure to take some time and enjoy all the area has to offer!

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Wilmington DE/Devon PA
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:302-834-3431 

Newport DE Homes Market Report – Zip Code 19804

July 26, 2011

The Newport DE (Zip Code 19804)  real estate market is following the trends seen throughout the area with both home prices and activity easing.

Newport DEAlthough centered on Newport, zip code 19804 actually encompasses parts of three separate communities with the US Postal Service recognizing Stanton, Newport, and Wilmington as acceptable addresses.  The Zip itself is bounded by the Christina River and White Clay Creek to the south, the old B&O freight railroad line to the north, the City of Wilmington to the east, and includes the Delaware Park Race Track to the west. According to the public records, this area includes over 6200 residential properties.

Stanton DE Area homesNewport has a long history beginning with its first land grant in 1641 and was first developed as a port and trading area beginning in the 1730s. This growth took advantage of both its access to the river and its location as a stage stopover on the Old King’s Highway. Newport saw the creation of one of the first post offices in the United States and later became a terminus of the Newport-Gap Pike. Newport was formally incorporated as a town in 1873.

Banning Park Lake Wilmington DE Zip 19804Over the years, as Wilmington grew and rail lines developed, Newport‘s importance in trading declined and development turned to more commercial and manufacturing growth. Over the years, the area has seen a wide range of industry from tanning and fertilizer to automobile and chemical production. GM manufactured cars in the area from 1947 through 2009 at its Boxwood plant, and Fisker announced plans in 2009 to begin electric automobile production at the same facility.

Today, Newport lies just to the north of the major I-95 interchange connecting with I-495 to the north and I-295 to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and New Jersey. Delaware Park Race Track 19804Route 141 and Route 4 run right through town and it is just moments from the Kirkwood Highway, the Dupont Highway/Route 13 and Route 1 heading toward the beaches. These roads provide immediate access to Wilmington, Newark, New Castle, and north into Pennsylvania toward West Chester or Philadelphia.

The 19804 Zip code encompasses a wide range of housing choices.These include single family homes, twins, rows, and apartments of every age and style. As seen throughout much of the area, both housing prices and sales activity have been declining recently.

Tuxedo Park DE Home

Prices peaked in 2007 when the average home sales price reached $203,000.  Since then, the average prices fell to $187,000 in 2008, $183,000 in 2009, $171,000 in 2010, and to $149,000 so far this year.

Home sales activity in zip code 19804 has followed the same trend. Activity peaked in 2005 and 2006 when sales reached 273 properties each year.  This activity then fell to 243 completed sales in 2007, 185 in 2008, 168 in 2009, 138 in 2010, and 77 this year to date.  These numbers represent a 26% decline from peak prices and 43% decline from peak sales activity. In detail:

Zip Code 19804 Real Estate Activity:
Year:             Homes      |    Avg Price       |
Active:             112                  $175,000
23                    $145,000
Sold 2011:       
77                    $149,000
2010:               138                  $171,000
2009:               168                  $183,000
2008:               185                  $187,000
2007:               243                  $203,000
2006:               273                  $192,000
2005:               273                  $175,000

Zip 19804 HomesWith its ideal central location, Newport and all of Zip Code 19804 should continue to be a prime destination for both home owners and businesses. Combined with its easy access to shopping, entertainment, and all the regional major metropolitan areas, Newport and the surrounding zip should continue to be a popular choice for years to come.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Wilmington DE/Devon PA
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:302-834-3431 

(All statistics per the TrendMLS System and are believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Haverford Hill Condo Update Delaware County PA

July 24, 2011

The Haverford Hill condominiums continue to be a popular choice although prices and sales activity have both weakened recently as compared to our last update in January 2010.

Throughout the county, home prices and sales activity have continued to be weak as consumers remain wary of the unsettled local, national, and international prospects. Condominiums of existing complexes have seen lowered demand and this weakness is reflected in both the pricing and sales activity seen in the Haverford Hill condominium complex.

In 2009, the average price of a 2 bedroom unit was $149,000. This eased to $143,000 in 2010 and $133,500 in 2011.  With an average list price for properties currently on the market of only $133,000, the average price appears to be headed lower for all of 2011.

The same trend is seen in the activity.  In 2008 there were 10 sales, rising to 18 total sales in 2009. In 2010 this fell to only 5 sales in the complex and only one settled sale for 2011 year to date. In detail:

Year:  1BR on the Mrkt | Avg Price | 2BR on the Mrkt | Avg Price
Active:            :4               $98,000            14                    $133,000
Sold 2011:      :0                      0                 1                     $133,500
Sold 2010:      :2              $115,000            3                     $143,000
Sold 2009:      :10            $108,000            7                     $149,000

With lower pricing, increased inventory, and the available great financing rates, activity could quickly rise as we continue through the year and consumers get some clarity and feel more confident on their personal situations. Well known communities and developments would likely be the first to benefit.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc – Devon,PA/Bear, DE
Office: 610-225-7400/Direct: 610-618-0808

Delaware County PA Homes Inventory Update

July 17, 2011

Unsold housing inventory continues to rise while sales continue their leisurely pace.

Last week the active inventory for homes for sale passed the 4100 level for the second time this summer. This year-to-date, 2083 homes have been sold.

Year:  Homes on the Market | Homes under Contract | Homes Sold
2010:            :3709                                 637                               2721
2011:            :4124                                 658                               2083
Change:       +11%                                 +3%                           -23%

Sales continue to lag this year as we remain well below a more “natural” sales rate. On the inventory side, the 4124 homes on the market represent an 11.1% rise over last year and a 28% rise since the last update in March 2011. The peak level of inventory for 2010 was reached in September of last year at just over 3900 homes.

Old Cheney PA StationPositive: From a buyer’s perspective this continues to be an incredible opportunity to move into the market.  If you have good credit, you can still receive excellent rates with the broadest choice of inventory seen in years. From a seller’s side, what you may have “lost” in price on your sale can be more than made up on the buy side for your new property – particularly if you are looking to move up to a larger or more expensive property.

Negative: The key negative continues to be the risk that if the need to sell overcomes the slack buyer demand, prices could easily retreat further. One needs to note that the savings from a slight price decline can easily be lost to higher interest rates should rates begin to climb (a good possibility given present problems in the financial markets/Washington).

Bottom Line: Our local real estate markets continue to be impacted by events and circumstances well out of our control. Short term both the credit markets and property markets should continue to remain unsettled. Long term, this combination of high inventory and low interest rates remains an incredible opportunity that has not been seen for years and may not last long.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc – Devon,PA/Bear, DE
Office: 610-225-7400/Direct: 610-618-0808

Condos Go Upscale In Delaware County PA

July 12, 2011

Average condominium prices continue to rise in Delaware County PA.

Louella Condominiums Wayne PA

An interesting trend is appearing in the Delaware County sales statistics, average condo prices have continued to rise even as activity has slowed.

Delaware County has always had a wide range of condominium options throughout the county with prices ranging from well below $100,000 to an upper end “traditionally” in the $600,000 range with some few exceptions above the $1,000,000 level. Like much of the county, the existing individual complexes have seen the same rise and fall in prices and activity seen throughout the housing market.

Terrazza Newtown Square PAWhile the county wide average sales numbers have seen the same pattern, the average sales prices for all county condos have continued to rise at a steady pace. This reflects a variety of new high end projects that have been developed.  Particularly with the addition of Terrazza in Newtown Square, Athertyn in Haverford, and Louella in Wayne, the new upscale developments are pushing the amenities and associated pricing to levels more often seen in the city. This is creating more options, more competition, better amenities, new standards, and better housing that will benefit the area for years.

Delaware County PA Condominium Sales Activity
Year      Average Price    Total Sales
2011          $230,000                29           June only
2011          $225,000                122         through June
2010          $222,000                310
2009          $211,000                365
2008          $192,000                377
2007          $190,000                508
2006          $180,000                475
2005          $178,000                485
2004          $160,000                499
2003          $139,000                483

So.. the next time you are in the market for a new home, before you make any firm decisions where you are going to live, please be sure to check out all your options. Even in this market, development continues and the new home options just might pleasantly surprise you.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Devon PA/Wilmington DE
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:610-225-7400 

(All statistics per the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Paxon Chase Real Estate Update

July 6, 2011

Real estate prices and activity remain steady in Paxon Chase.

Paxon Chase PAPaxon Chase is a great home community built in the mid 1980s containing approximately 40 townhomes and 69 single family homes. Located off Paxon Hollow Rd in Marple Township, Paxon Chase offers a nice blend of semi rural living while being in close proximity to major transportation/commuting corridors. This location also affords plenty of entertainment and dining options in Media, the Main Line, and Philadelphia.

Route 320 is minutes to the east and Route 252 is just moments to the west with both providing easy access to the Blue Route (I-476), West Chester Pike, Baltimore Pike and Route 1. Paxon Chase TownhomesWith I-95 just down the Blue Route, residents can easily travel toward Philadelphia, Wilmington, and beyond.  It is also convenient to both the Philadelphia International Airport and multiple rail options.

The community was developed in the 1980’s. The single family homes were primarily built between 1984 and 1986 while the townhomes along Trout Run Mews were completed in 1987. The single family homes are predominately between 2000 and 3000 square feet with a few ranging over 4000 sq ft usually with 4+ bedrooms. The three bedroom townhomes were on average slightly smaller averaging between 2128 and 2511 sq ft with four units containing 2740 square feet.

axon Chase HomePaxon Chase is one of the more stable communities in the area resulting in a relatively slow turnover in properties and more stable pricing. Prices peaked in 2007 as seen in much of the area but have remained fairly stable. The average single family home pricing eased to $438,000 in 2010 versus a $487,000 peak in 2007 but rebounded in 2011 with one closed sale for $473,000. The townhomes saw prices bottom in 2009 with three sales averaging $291,000 but have since recovered into the low $300,000 range. The leisurely pace of sales combined with the variation in individual properties could explain some of this volatility.  In detail:

Paxon Chase Real Estate Activity:
Year:  Townhomes |Avg Price | Single Family |Avg Price
2006:          2            $365,000       1                  $479,000
2007:          1            $365,000       2                  $487,000
2008:          0              —                   1                  $463,000
2009:          3            $291,000       2                  $478,000
1            $332,000       1                  $438,000
2011:          1            $330,000       1                  $473,000
(excludes one $735,000 sale in 2011)

Today there are currently 4 properties on the market: one townhome for $345,000 and three single family homes with an average asking price of $491,000.

With it’s relatively stable pricing, great location, and variety of housing options, Paxon Chase should remain a great housing choice in the area for years to come.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Devon PA/Wilmington DE
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:610-225-7400 

(All statistics per the TrendMLS System and believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Take some time to relax, enjoy your friends and family, and get ready for the rest of the summer.

Also, just a quick reminder that the Summer Festival Concert Series at Rose Tree Park is now in full swing just off Route 1 on Route 252 in Upper Providence. Be sure to check out their calendar of events so you don’t miss these great shows.

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Devon PA/Wilmington DE
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:610-225-7400 

Welcome to PA – Welcome to Delaware County! **** PA’s New Welcome Center Now Open ****

July 1, 2011

Pennsylvania’s new Welcome Center located along I-95 on Pennsylvania’s border with Delaware is now open.

Welcome to Pennsylvania

After over a year of construction, Pennsylvania’s newest Welcome Center is now open!

New PA Welcome Center on I-95With the tourist season now in full bloom, Pennsylvania now joins Delaware with a brand new Welcome Center facility on I-95. Located on the border with Delaware in lower Delaware County PA, this offers an excellent stop for visitors traveling into Philadelphia or throughout the state.

Welcome Centers have evolved from simple rest areas with a few amenities to complete facilities offering information on multiple opportunities throughout the state. Interior PA Visitor Center on I-95They even include all those state travel guides and brochures that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else.

With fourteen Welcome Centers located on most of the major interstate highway entry points, Pennsylvania is well covered by visitor facilities throughout the state. Each center showcases both the local area and events and opportunities throughout the state including information on local products, events, and accommodations.

Picnic Facilities PA Visitors Center I-95The new I-95 Delaware County Welcome Center contains restrooms, tourist information, vending machines, and picnic facilities in an expanded 8500 square foot facility. This replaces two older existing structures dating to 1971 with less than half the space.

Whether you are traveling from out of state or are a nearby resident looking for additional information on the local area and events, be sure to stop by, take a look, and enjoy the new facilities!

David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Devon PA/Wilmington DE
Direct:610-618-0808 – Office:610-225-7400