Welcome Back Readers! Today we are bringing you some particularly awesome news, Zillow has recently ranked Lancaster County PA as one of the top places in the nation to buy a home 2011! We hit the list at Number 7, which considering we were competing with literally thousands of places across the nation is pretty spectacular!
The best thing about this ranking? It takes into account what is happening NOW. In this economy, with the current unemployment rate, interest rates, affordability levels, etc. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it’s the right time for you to buy, there are great opportunities out there right now. Read on after the jump to see why we were included in the list of the Best Places to Buy in 2011!
One of the first things they factored in was Affordability. If you click on the link above you can read the full text on Zillow’s site, but the interesting thing about affordability isnt just that homes in Lancaster County PA are affordable, it’s that the study found that they have been historically affordable and predicts they will stay that way in the future.
Second, Zillow considered the Unemployment percentage. If you’re currently unemployed, I guess the fact that our unemployment rate is lower than most of the rest of the nation isn’t much comfort. On the other hand though, Lancaster County has always been fortunate to have a varied employment base and easy access to most of Central and Easter Pennsylvania, as well as Maryland job markets. If you want to see housing numbers across the nation improve, jobs must first improve and in Lancaster it would appear that we are improving. I’m hoping it stays that way and if you’re currently looking for a new career, call me, let me tell you about the benefits of a career in real estate!
Third, they considered Foreclosures. I wrote a post on this subject recently ( here) and again, foreclosure is never a good thing but in Lancaster County PA our foreclosure rate is very low, according to Zillow only 0.438% of all of the homes in the county. This again is linked to the relatively stable employment opportunities in Central PA.
Finally, they considered Price Appreciation. Homes in Lancaster County actually experienced a marginal decline in average sales price as compared to previous years, but this was significantly better than most of the nation. Historically, while prices gain and fall on a year over year basis, over time Lancaster County homes appreciate in value and represent a solid investment. Also, I have said it before, homes aren’t investments, they are homes. Anytime you buy a home with the intention of moving in the first 5-7 years, you should project a break even situation at best when it’s time to sell. After you get beyond the first 5 years is when you begin to realize the benefits of appreciation.
Check out the chart to the right from Zillow for all the details of the top ten.
Kudos to Lancaster Newspapers for covering the story, I always appreciate positive press for my industry. Considering though that the negative headlines always make the front page (like for example an article in the front of the Business Section today about how the drop in Transfer Tax revenue impacts budgets of local schools and municipalities), it would have been nice if this article wasn’t buried in the back of that very same Business section. I never would want to offend our friends in the local media, but stories like this deserve front page coverage just as much as the negative ones do. Sorry LNP, I still like you and am a daily subscriber, but someone needed to say it.
So there you have it. With historically low interest rates, a great selection of inventory to choose from and a nationally recognized media outlet study that demonstrates the stability of the Lancaster County Real Estate Market, it’s a buyers market. If you think its the right time for you, the market is full of opportunity.
As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please comment, forward this post to your friends and subscribe!
If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me atJason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041!