Philadelphia area home sales decrease for eighth straight month though prices reach record October high

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Corey Hart
12

Nov

2019

Philadelphia Metro median sales price of $245,000 at record October level; Closed sales dip by 8.9 percent; Inventories at all-time low

Rockville, MD – (November 12, 2019) – The following analysis of the Philadelphia Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on October 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • The Philadelphia Metro area median sales price was, by far, at the highest October level of the last decade.  At $245,000, prices are 8.9% above last October and are the same as last month.
  • Regional sales volume this month of just over $1.8 billion was down a slight 1.0% from last year.
  • Closed sales compared to last year decreased by 8.5% to 6,201, the eighth consecutive month of declining sales levels.
  • New listings of 9,233 were down 4.2% compared to last year, a return to the trend of year-over-year declines in new listings seen over the past several years.
  • As a result, active inventories decreased by 22.5% to a staggeringly low 20,202, the lowest monthly level of the decade and about 58% of the 10-year average inventory level.
  • October average percentage of original list price received at sale was 95.5%, up from last year’s 95.3%.
  • Median days-on-market were 26, down from 29 days last year and 28 days last month.


 

  • October’s regional median sales price of $245,000 (the same as last month), was an 8.9% or $20,000 increase over last year.  Prices have been on a steady upward path since early 2017. 
  • Compared to last year, townhome prices were up 10.8% to $205,000, single-family home prices were up 7.3% to $285,000, and condo prices were nearly flat, with a 0.8% gain to $190,500.
  • Prices are well above the 5-year average of $224,780 and the 10-year average of $215,325.
  • Prices are 22.5% above the October 2011 decade low of $200,000.
  • Chester County is the most expensive area in the region, with an October median sales price of $340,000, down 0.7% from last year, and one of only two areas in the region that saw a decline.  Delaware County also saw a decline in median sales price (-4.5% to $200,500).
  • Prices in Salem County are the lowest in the area, with an October median sales price of $136,150, a 30.9% increase over last year.
  • Prices were mostly up across the area, with the next largest gain (after Salem County) in Mercer County (+25.0% to $275,000) and the smallest in Montgomery County (+3.6% to $300,000). 
  • Year-to-date across the region, prices are up 5.6% to $245,000.


 

  • This month’s 6,201 closed sales were down 8.5% from last year and 2.7% from last month. This marks the eighth consecutive month of declining year-over-year sales.
  • Sales in all property categories were down, with single-family detached showing the smallest percentage loss, down 2.8% to 3,504, while townhome sales were down 12.9% to 2,194 and condo sales were down 18.8% to 501.
  • October sales are just below the 5-year average of 6,316 but exceed the 10-year average of 5,304.
  • October sales were 87.6% more than the trough of 3,305 seen in October 2010.
  • Sales activity increased only in Chester County (+9.2% to 596).  Elsewhere, the smallest percentage decline was in Delaware County (-0.6% to 522) and the largest percentage decline was in Philadelphia County (-18.4% to 1,161)
  • For the year-to-date, sales across the region are down 0.9% to 69,295.


 

  • After a slight recovery last month, October’s new listings slipped back into declining territory; the 9,233 new listings in October were 4.2% less than last year and 3.0% less than last month. 
  • New condo listings saw the largest percentage decline over last year, sliding 17.9% to 704, while single-family detached listings were down 3.4% to 4,826 and new townhomes were down 1.7% to 3,696.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 9,094 and the 10-year average of 8,544.
  • The number of new October listings exceeded the 2011 market low of 7,425 by 24.4%.
  • New listing activity across the region was mostly down, with Delaware County (+9.5% to 763), Salem County (+8.5% to 128) and Chester County (+8.1% to 813) seeing the only increases.  The smallest percentage decline was in New Castle County (-1.9% to 809) and the largest percentage decline was in Camden County (-14.7% to 811).
  • For the year-to-date, new listings are down 1.7% to 100,042.


 

  • Active inventories posted their eighth consecutive month of year-over-year double-digit declines, slipping to just 20,202 active listings.  Inventories were also down 2.6% from last month.  Year-over-year inventory levels have declined every month since April of 2015.
  • Townhome inventories were down 21.2% to 6,828, while inventories of single-family detached homes declined 23.0% to 11,718 and condo inventories were down 24.7% to 1,656.
  • Inventories are below the 5-yr average of 28,624 and are 42% below the 10-yr average of 34,692.
  • October inventories are less than half the peak level of 46,966 seen in 2010.
  • Across the region, inventory levels compared to last year were down by double-digits everywhere, with the smallest percentage decline in Philadelphia County (-12.1% to 4,689) and the largest percentage decline in Gloucester County (-31.1% to 1,381).


 

  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for October was 95.5%, the same as last month and up from last year’s 95.3%.  It was the highest October SP to OLP ratio of the decade.
  • Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.5%, while townhomes are at 95.7% and single-family detached homes are at 95.3%.
  • This October’s SP to OLP ratio is well above both the 5-year average of 94.5% and the 10-year average of 92.8%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest October average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 89.3%.  Prior to this October, the high had been last year’s 95.3%.
  • Chester County had the highest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 96.9%, down from last October’s 97.2%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio in the region was in Salem County, where it was 90.3%, up from last year’s 85.4%.  This was the largest year-over-year gain in the region.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional SP to OLP ratio is 95.6%, down from 95.8% for the same period last year.


 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in October was 26 days, down 3 days from last year and two days from last month.
  • Townhomes have a median DOM of 21, while condos have a median DOM of 23, and single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 31.
  • October’s median DOM was 10 days below the 5-year average of 36 days and 28 days below the 10-year average of 54 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 26 is the lowest October level in a decade.  The highest October median DOM of the last 10 years was 93 days in 2011.
  • The highest median DOM in the region in October was in Salem County where it was 67 days, down significantly from 97 days last year. 
  • Delaware County has the lowest median DOM of 17 days, down from 24 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date, the overall regional median DOM is 26 days, down one day from last year.


 

About the Philadelphia Metro Housing Market Update

The Philadelphia Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in ShowingTime’s proprietary database. The Philadelphia Metro Area housing market includes Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County and Salem County in New Jersey and New Castle County in Delaware. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 95,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit www.brightmls.com.

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis.  He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.   He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at www.econ70.com.

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