Recent data shows a stable real estate market in Sussex County

The Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) released third-quarter sales data last week that they said indicates continuing stability in the county’s real estate markets.

“These positive housing trends continue to be fueled by strong inventories, incredible buying opportunities and interest rates that remain at below average levels,” they said.

Thus far in 2014, an average of more than 75 homes are being sold each week in Sussex County. Those numbers are even stronger when the early months of the year, when unusually bitter temperatures gripped the region, are excluded.

“After several quarters of growth, recent numbers indicate a more stable market year over year, which is definitely positive news,” said Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “We don’t want to see numbers exploding as they did a few years ago, because that sets you up for an inevitable downturn later on. So these numbers are definitely good news for our markets moving forward.”

Single-family home sales for the months of July, August and September were virtually unchanged from 2013, with 1,249 properties being sold during the quarter. That brings the yearly number of property sales this calendar year to 2,894, which represents more than $924 million in year-to-date sales.

The average home in Sussex County in 2014 is selling for a little more than $369,000, with month-to-month sales increasing each month during the quarter.

Of notable interest in the county, 31 percent of all homes sold thus far this year have been sold to individuals who paid cash at closing. Many of those buyers are in the second-homebuyer market and have moved to the county from other areas after selling a previous residence.

“As in most years, the third quarter is our strongest of the year, as Sussex County is buoyed by a large number of summertime visitors and an increase in home-buying activity in the second homeowner market,” said Riedle.

“But this month-over-month increase is important to note, as it indicates a continuing interest in our area as a resort destination. Our proximity to the coast is definitely one of our strongest selling points and one that has served us very well for many years.”

As has been the case for many years, three-bedroom homes continued to show the most robust sales, with nearly 1,700 homes from that sector selling thus far in 2014. That accounts for 58 percent of all homes sold during the year.

Sussex County’s commercial real estate market also continues a sold rebound in 2014, with 155 lots and land changing hands during the third quarter, for an average price of more than $188,000.

To read more about issues related to Sussex County’s real estate industry, visit SCAOR’s website at www.scaor.com.