This is the time of year that we hear the “State of the Union” and the “State of the State”. There might not be network coverage, but I wanted to give you my “State of the Erie Real Estate Market”.
First, a bit of reflection.
2013 was an interesting year. Listing inventory was tight in some prices ranges and neighborhoods in our Erie community. For instance: A $200,000 home in Millcreek was sold in an average of about 30 days (and if priced right, with photos that show it is in good condition, it seemed to be snapped up in about 12 hours). Time on market for an $80,000 home within the city limits took twice as long to sell. Homes over $400,000 sold in 73 days (median calculation) but MANY were under agreement in less than a month. One thing was true for every neighborhood and price range. Homes that were priced correctly and were in good condition SOLD FAST. Overall, prices have risen very slightly (kept in place largely by the appraisal part of the mortgage process), and interest rates went up a little but affordability was still very high.
Why? The general market has recovered from the national downturn that started in 2008. The Erie area, fortunately, was not hit that badly in terms of prices, but we saw a downturn in the number of homes sold for the last several years. Erie seemed to want to apply the national trends to our local market, which had people putting their moving plans on hold and waiting for the market to improve.
So what is in store for 2014 and beyond?
I am not an economist or a fortune teller, but here is how it looks to me - being a real estate agent for over 37 years.
The better market is here!
The buyers are the first to come out of hiding and 2013 saw more activity from buyers looking for a home. However, we are still seeing a lack of inventory (the amount of homes listed for sale in our Multiple Listing System MLS) in some areas and price ranges. Hopefully in 2014, sellers will come to know that homes are selling. If you have been wanting to move and thought your home might not sell – Your WAIT IS OVER. The demand for new construction is coming back and we should see some more inventory becoming available soon.
- Reasonable interest rates: Interest rates will probably stay very reasonable, but could bump up a bit this year as the national economy continues to recover. I recommend anyone interested in purchasing real estate in 2014 to speak with a qualified lender to get a pre-approval before looking for a property.
- There’s money to go around: There will continue to be plenty of mortgage money, and buyers with regular income and reasonable credit will be able to get a mortgage, however the mortgage process will continue to get more complicated, will take longer, and be more expensive as the new lending rules are implemented. That is another reason to work with a qualified lender and an experienced real estate agent: I can help match you to a lender when we work together.
Expect some changes: The process for buying and selling will be different than the last time you moved – even if it was just a few years ago. Ask your REALTOR® what has changed, and what to expect. You can download our Buyers Guide for a more comprehensive look at the buying process. Click to download
Thinking about a move in 2014? Click here for friendly tips
All in all, 2014 is shaping up to be a great time to move. An improving economy, reasonable home prices and low interest rates all point to an improving housing market. If you have been putting off a move, this could be the year!
I hope you have enjoyed my tips and resources. If you’re thinking about buying or selling real estate, I would be more than happy to set a free, no obligation consultation with you at my office at 8840 Peach Street. Email me at Nanci.Lorei@MarshaMarsh.com, like my Fan Page for more real estate tips, or give me a call at 814.881.0580 or at my office at 814.866.8840.
Please feel free to pass this along to your friends are family who might be thinking about a move.