We get asked this question all the time. For the most part, it’s a pretty straight-forward question and answer……………or is it?
The first question that comes to mind is………………compared to what?
If you are comparing it to yesterday, it’s probably about the same. As the length of time increases, the answer gets a little more convoluted. It may also vary on whom you may ask. A seller who has had his home on the market for over a year may have a totally different perspective on this question than a real estate professional, Realtor, who is actually working in the real estate market on a daily basis.
And what are we comparing? How many properties are on the market? The average list price? The average sales price? The average days on market (time from when it was listed until it sold)? These all effect the local real estate market.
The first lesson to be learned is that real estate is local. You can’t pick up your home and move it to Ohio very easily, or down south. When the media is talking about the real estate market in California or Florida, it may or may not be the same as in Pennsylvania, and more importantly, in your community. This lesson is very important and especially to this question. Even to say that one county is doing well, may not mean that all communities in that county are doing well. There are 30 miles between Milton and Shamokin and even though they are in the same county their real estate markets are vastly different. There are many elements to the real estate market and all are equally important.
Buyers are concerned with the local economy and the general beauty of the downtown, the school district, and the general perception of the residents of the area/region. The last one normally has the most affect on those who are relocating to the community and have no previous knowledge of it. After they have been around for some time, they will develop their own perceptions of the community/area.
There is no question that interest rates and the national economy influence the local real estate market, but some areas are rather insulated from the effects of those influences.
With all the explanations given above, it is sometimes easier for us as Realtors to compare geographic regions, and one of the best for this area is by school districts.
Here are the most current reports for the Milton Area School District Market Stats, Warrior Run School District Market Stats and Lewisburg School District Market Stats. This is for residential listings only (no commercial, lots, multi-family homes, etc) and is for March 2012.