Sluggish Housing Market Encourages Condo Sales

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor A report issued by The Long & Foster Market Minute reveals that the Philadelphia area real estate market reflects mixed trends in April 2011 as compared to the same month last year. The analysis shows mixed [...]

A report issued by The Long & Foster Market Minute reveals that the Philadelphia area real estate market reflects mixed trends in April 2011 as compared to the same month last year. The analysis shows mixed results for median asking price in the counties around Philadelphia. For example, the median sale price in Delaware County grew by 7 percent to $202,500 whereas the rest of the regions experienced decreases ranging from 3 percent to 7 percent and median sale prices of $253,950 in Bucks County, $130,000 in Philadelphia County, $277,750 in Chester County or $238,000 in Montgomery County.

The Philadelphia area counties experienced the same mixed trends in terms of active inventory in April 2011. As compared to April 2010, the data shows a six percent fall in inventory in Philadelphia County and a one percent decrease in Chester County. For Bucks and Delaware Counties, on the other hand, the report shows increases varying from three percent to seven percent. The highest increase in active inventory was eight percent, in Montgomery County.

According to the data gathered in April, most of the houses put up for sale in the Philadelphia area continued to sell in an average four months or less mirroring the timeframe in Philadelphia County, where houses sold in 96 days on average. It took 103 days for Montgomery County houses to sell on average and 112 days for Chester County homes.

In data collected by the Prudential Fox & Roach HomExpert Report, year-over-year home sales dropped 27.1 percent as compared to April 2010; one of the reasons experts agreed upon is the absence of the tax credit in this area.

Given these poor figures in house sales, the condo sales in Philadelphia were fairly brisk in the first quarter of 2011. From January 1 to March 30, 2011, the Philadelphia recorder of deeds listed as many as 370 sales with 63 percent under $400,000. Almost all condos were sold in Center City or in the adjacent areas. The sales price for the condos situated outside these areas ranged from $100,000 to $200,000.