The number of properties that changed hands in the first six months of this year is higher than it has been the three prior years.
According to a Prudential Home Expert Report, 150 homes were sold from January through June this year. The previous years that number was 137, 94 and 111.
The first six-month period was “a welcome change, an improvement,” said Steve Storti, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Prudential Fox & Roach. But “obviously we’re not back to a normal situation.”
But what is normal?
The Main Line housing sales peaked in 2005, and that was an “unnatural high,” Storti said. If we are currently about 45 percent off of that peak, and 20 percent of that peak would be a “normal” market, then we are about 25 percent off of the ideal “normal.”
The ideal normal is homes staying on the market for 60 to 90 days (many places are above 100) and properties appreciating a few percentage points per year, Storti said.
In the grand scheme, pricing on the Main Line has remained very stable, but homes are selling at a lower price. A lack of new construction also brings down the average sale price because resold properties are not usually highest prices in market, Storti said. The other thing that affects pricing is whether there are multiple offers on a home.
So why aren’t move homes moving? After all, interest rates for borrowing are “astronomically low,” he said. Because new regulations have made the borrowing process more rigorous and you actually need employment and income verification to get a loan (yes, there was a time when you didn’t).
“That’s taking some portion of people out of the market, but maybe they shouldn’t have been in the market to begin with,” Storti said. “If you’re employed, have good credit and your income should sustain payments, you shouldn’t have any problem getting a mortgage.”
Median Price of Properties Sold in Radnor
First Half 2012 First Half 2011 First Half 2010 First Half 2009 % Change 11-12 % Change 09-12 $550,000 $570,000 $565,000 $460,000 -3.5% 19.6%
Average Days on the Market in Radnor
First Half 2012 First Half 2011 First Half 2010 First Half 2009 % Change 11-12 % Change 09-12 87 101 94 97 -13.3% -9.7%