I'm going to break up my monthly home sales recap into two blog posts going forward, to make the information easier to digest (don't want any upset stomachs out there, you know...).
Here's the July 2009 home sales figures from the local MLS for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:
You may have heard that Lancaster PA just got mentioned in Businessweek as one of the "top 30" best real estate markets in the US. That was according to Zillow, in which I don't place much stock (guess the BW folks had a slow news week). Looking at the numbers, though, does yield some good news for a change.
Note that while sold homes were pretty much steady (down 2%) over last year, homes "pending sale" rose sharply (up 27%) - a sign that buyers are out this summer and staying with it through July, which is typically beyond the peak in June that we see every year. Perhaps the work that the $8,000 IRS incentive is going away this fall has something to do with that...
Also note that the Average Sold Price stayed above 2008 levels, which is very good news for home sellers concerned about eroding home values. Personally, I was a bit shocked to see this number (and pleased too).
On the down side, it's taking almost 20% longer to sell the Lancaster County home on average, which speaks to the need for superlative marketing on the part of the listing agent to get the word out early, and the need for sellers to be patient but demanding. Also, the biggest statistical jump was with listings expiring, almost a 50% leap over last year! Why? Sellers who listed six months ago (the typical listing period) realized that the year was slipping away and decided to make a change at the end of their contract, I'd wager.
All in all a great month considering the economic challenges and uncertain outlook facing the national housing landscape.
Watch for my next post on the price and sales trends over time in Lancaster County home sales - let's see if history can teach us anything.