It hard to imagine the real estate terrain we find ourselves in these days, but yet here we are. Many parts of the Northeast, who prior to the pandemic were struggling, are now reporting record signs of growth – the largest increase in home sales since the end of 2006. Unlike much of the Northeast portion of our country prior to COVID-19, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s market was thriving. When the economy became derailed in March, real estate entered stealth-mode for over two months. Since then the terrain has been very smooth, churning at a fast pace. Home sales and home prices have been on the rise. Though homes are selling for 11.6% more this August versus one year ago, home prices year-to-date are enjoying a more comfortable 2.2% increase (year-over-year).*
Sure, the challenges are present for our market: our inventory is very low, more homes are going under contract than are being listed and commercial space is beginning to saturate our market; but the Greater Scranton area appears to be insulated from the other surrounding regions. Lower-priced homes have been in short supply this year, especially in recent months. Hopefully new construction kicks it into gear, but the higher costs of lumber since mid-April hasn’t helped the situation. Some homeowners have decided to stay put, which hasn’t boosted the housing inventory either. Nevertheless, our area remains very affordable and for many first-time buyers, they eventually find what they’re looking for.
Demand remains strong and thus it can be frustrating for some homebuyers, especially in our current seller’s market. It’s particularly stressful if you’re searching in print these days! Some of the properties we market in print are no longer active when they appear in black-and-white in the publication. Honestly, properties are moving fast these days. May we make a suggestion? If you’re actively searching for a home in today’s market, look online without hesitation. We would also strongly suggest having your agent keep you up to speed with the latest listings that fit your criteria and the trends affecting the neighborhood(s) where you’re searching.
Where you search online can make a difference too. Recently, we were awarded Best Real Estate Website in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the third year in a row by local newspaper readership. Our award-winning website, realtynetwork.net, features the entire inventory of homes on the market through our comprehensive database. Our site has a simple interface with straightforward navigation and high mobile-performance, so you can easily connect with us from wherever you are. There are many tools available for visitors to explore as well. Venture to our award-winning website today and let us know what you think.
* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® stats