The number of existing home sales fell again last month to 10,702 in Pennsylvania, down 23% year over year, according to a report prepared for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®.
Median existing home sales prices rose slightly last month to $210,132, which is up 9.5% year over year, but down from this year’s high of $219,154 in July.
With the continued limited inventory, most of our markets are still seeing home prices hold steady and even increase slightly as we did last month. The number of sales has leveled out with the higher interest rates. These higher rates are primarily affecting first-time buyers who need a mortgage. While higher interest rates have resulted in fewer offers on homes, there are still people who need to purchase a home.
While I was at the NAR NXT conference in Orlando, Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, gave an overview of the industry and said, “For most parts of the country, home prices are holding steady since available inventory is extremely low. Some places are experiencing price gains, while some places, most notably in California, are seeing prices pull back.”
However, Yun noted that today’s market conditions are fundamentally different than those experienced during the Great Recession.
“Housing inventory is about a quarter of what it was in 2008,” Yun said. “Distressed property sales are almost non-existent, at just 2%, and nowhere near the 30% mark seen during the housing crash. Short sales are almost impossible because of the significant price appreciation of the last two years.”
We’ve continued to see few listings in Pennsylvania too, with the number of listings declining again to 38,498, down 23.5% year over year.
When we look back, the number of listings on the market are down more than 60% compared to five years ago. The inventory challenge has kept prices up in most markets, not only in the commonwealth, but across the country.
As I’ve talked with a number of you, most of you are seeing homes on the market a little longer than earlier this year. Like many of you, Realtors® in my region are still seeing multiple offers on homes, but the market is definitely changing.
During this transitional market, it’s great to remind both your clients and the public that working with a Realtor® can help both buyers and sellers understand their local markets and what to expect.