Now that we’ve finished the first quarter, it’s time for a market update for Bucks County, as well as for the individual markets in Lower Makefield, Newtown, and Upper Makefield Townships. Let’s start by looking at Bucks County as a whole, since there are many more transactions there than in the other individual markets.
First, there is a lack of inventory in Bucks County compared with the end of last year’s first quarter. There are nearly 20% fewer homes on the market this year. So the big question is, “What does that mean as far as pricing?” The average sold price throughout the county is 6% higher year over year. This is the greatest price increase we have seen since the crazy market dynamics of 2005.
But is this going to continue? We’re currently concerned about rising interest rates, which are about a point higher than they were at this time last year. Meanwhile, we are at a historic low for the number of closed transactions, which is down about 7% through the first quarter. Pending sales, which are a reliable, forward-looking statistic, are also down.
The average days on the market is much lower this year, as well. Homes are selling faster than they did in 2017.
Inventory levels, which we call the absorption rate, are considered balanced when there is a six-month supply of homes. Currently, there is only a little over 4.4 months throughout the county.
How does Bucks County compare with the individual markets I mentioned before? The storyline is consistent. These are much smaller sample sizes because there aren’t as many listings or closings in these individual markets.
“Inventory levels, which we call the absorption rate, are considered balanced when there are six months of inventory.”
In Lower Makefield Township, there are 40% fewer houses on the market right now than there were last year. Closings are also down, but the average sold price was relatively stable through the first quarter.
Average sold price, on the other hand, has gone up by about 4% year over year in Lower Makefield. However, we see the same low inventory as in other markets, with only 3.7 months of supply in the area.
In Newtown, we see very similar inventory levels. Supply is down 14% to just three months of inventory. Closings are also down.
These numbers are all consistent with what we saw in 2005 and 2006.
Moving on, let’s discuss Upper Makefield. Upper Makefield always displays an interesting set of statistics because of the high number of luxury homes. In fact, 51% of the houses on the market in Upper Makefield are over $1 million. These prices cause the homes to take longer to sell. Inventory is down by about 37% in this market, but the number of closings and settlements are around the same as they were last year at this time. With about seven months of inventory in Upper Makefield, their market is more balanced than certain others, overall.
If you have any questions about the market or are considering buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.