Tag Archive for: Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS

Homeowners are incentivized to sell, if they’re in a position to do so, as we set sights on the spring housing market. It’s no surprise that last year was a stellar year for homebuying and selling. Unfortunately, many were left on the sidelines, especially first-time buyers who only had FHA loan approval or were relying on a more limited down-payment as they pursued homeownership. Often investors beat first-timers to the punch, swooping in and snatching up available homes for sale. The challenges still exist. You need only ask those who are still looking to buy.

Persistent low supplies, even locally, have driven up home prices. Fueling the fire was 2021 with its record-breaking growth in the housing sector. Appreciation in home prices was high at the start of the year and accelerated even higher by year’s end. “Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021,” which was more than double the prior year.

Sellers who can afford to sell, and we use that term “afford” loosely, should do so. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, is there a better time of the year to put your property on the market? Is there an optimal time to sell? Is there a month or a very specific time of the year where a seller would be in a better position than if he/she waited? These are great questions. New and sold listings in our market will shed some light on this discussion.

New Listings in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®
2021 2019 2018
February 172 244 228
March 267 324 320
April 330 400 364
May 387 432 448
June 374 381 434
July 368 360 387
August 397 331 353
September 329 329 313

*GSBR statistics 2018-2021

Sold Listings in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®
2021 2019 2018
February 157 159 138
March 243 180 187
April 248 203 168
May 262 250 258
June 312 240 214
July 294 270 240
August 313 265 285
September 298 228 225

*GSBR statistics 2018-2021

The COVID-filled year of 2020 was a tale of two markets, an extremely silent one as well as a vigorous one beginning in June of that year, and therefore, we skipped it for obvious reasons. But the patterns of three of the last four years show a trend. New listings entering the market peaked in May/June and sales hit their highs in July/August. And this correlation between sales and listings is logical with an estimated forty-five to sixty days to close for properties in our market.

It might be advantageous for prospective sellers to circle the month of March on their calendars. Next month you say? Yes, March is the perfect time to list! ATTOM data would also suggest March or perhaps even April is the best time to put your home on the market. May and June experience the highest returns for those looking to make a profit in selling their property. But don’t sweat it, if you’re not ready to go in March or April, you might be able to catch some of that buyer activity during the summer months.

We would caution anyone looking to sell though as home price appreciation may begin to taper as this year comes to a close. The median home price was almost 12% higher than it was a year ago and that should continue short-term, according to realtor.com’s chief economist. But many forecasters believe a plunge in home prices is coming by year’s end. Sellers who are on the fence, should act soon. In fact, next month might just be the perfect month!

It’s 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