HARRISBURG, PA (May 28, 2008) – Pennsylvania homeowners can rest easy as recent housing statistics report that median home sale prices remain stable at $188,000 for the first quarter of 2008.
“It’s a ‘back-to-basics’ market,” says PAR consulting economist Austin Jaffe, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Insurance and Real Estate at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. “The era of easy money and exotic mortgages never took hold among homebuyers in the Commonwealth, so prices in Pennsylvania never increased as much or as quickly in other markets. There’s no reason to expect that prices will fall as much or as rapidly here.”
RealtyTrac ranks Pennsylvania 34th among the 50 states in numbers of foreclosures, well below the national average.
Meanwhile, several real estate markets across Pennsylvania are being recognized. Money Magazine named Scranton as one of the top 10 fastest growing real estate markets. Scranton, with a median home sale price of $128,000, saw an increase of 7.2 percent in 2007, according to the magazine.
Forbes Magazine ranked Reading and the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area as two of the 10 sizzling housing markets in the country in 2007.
“This is the beginning of a new period in the housing market – or a new ‘old’ period where consumers buy homes to live in and use as long-term investments, not as a get-rich-quick scheme,” adds Jaffe.
“For buyers with a good credit history, it’s a good time to buy in many communities in Pennsylvania,” says Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR) President, Bob Hay. “Mortgage rates are low and there is ample inventory, so qualified buyers have many choices. It’s especially important to pay attention to local market conditions because all real estate is local,” added Hay.