Written by Carol Lehman
Carol Lehman offers many years of Lancaster County real estate experience. She’s weathered the rollercoaster of the industry, helping clients during buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets. She offers an outlook on the real estate market as of August 2021.
The real estate market has been incredibly strong for the last 18-24 months, nationwide. For many months we were seeing homes command prices higher than the asking price because buyers were in the market and inventory was low. Buyers were also offering cash deals and waiving home inspections.
It’s beginning to soften a little bit in Lancaster County, for two reasons. First, vacations—July and August are historically slower months, simply because people are on vacation. Second, we are seeing some buyer fatigue. Some buyers have been searching for a new home for months and are tired of being outbid during the offer process. We are seeing buyers simply stepping away from their searches.
In addition, inventory in Lancaster County, and central Pennsylvania, is beginning to increase slightly, which affects the number of days a home remains on the market. Interest rates continue to hover around 3 percent (as of 8/1/21), however, so prices for single family homes in Lancaster County remain high.
Many people ask me, “How long is this going to last?” I anticipate the strong market will continue through the fall and into 2022. As I compare the strong growth in home values to a similar increase in 2006/2007, I do not believe this is the same. Prices may plateau, but I do not believe that we will see a bubble burst and a significant drop in home prices.
According to the National Association of Realtors several indicators support that assumption. For example, June 2021 reports show that cash offers have increased to 23% of sales. In addition, on average, sellers are receiving more than four offers for their homes and 55% of sales go higher than the asking price. Last, homes in suburban, small town and rural areas are in high demand as 87% of sales are happening in those types of markets.
If you believe that you will sell your house in the next 12 months, it is really important to talk with a real estate professional as soon as possible. Realtors offer a free consultation to help you think through the selling process. We recommend you request that consultation months before you list your home; advance notice allows a realtor to offer you solid advice and gives you the freedom to prepare at a slower pace. This is especially true if you are unsure when you will actually move.
We are currently working with a future resident at Garden Spot Village who will be signing an agreement for an apartment at Garden Spot Village next week. Fortunately, we met with the client several months ago which allowed the client time to prepare for listing the home. We will list the house this coming Friday and hope to have a buyer purchase the home prior to the client moving to Garden Spot Village in the next 60 days. Because the client prepared with us ahead of time, it should be a fairly stress free transition.
If this blog has piqued your interest in learning more about selling your home, please reach out. My partner Greg Hostetter and I offer many years of real estate experience and would be happy to answer any of your questions.