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Housing Market Trends

Philadelphia-area housing inventory still at record low levels. Builders plan for more quick-delivery options for buyers.

Can buyers get any advantage in a seller's market?


In 2013, the greater Philly region had more than a 7-month supply of homes. Now, it is less than a month. That means there would not be enough home supply to last 1 month if no new homes were built.

Low inventory means sellers' market, bidding wars, cash offers over asking price, waved inspections, no warranties, quick decisions with higher risk, leaving buyers vulnerable to be burned. Over the last 24 months, buyers have had to assume more risk with fewer choices.

Home prices continue to break growth records with no price relief in sight. The majority of Zillow home experts predicted prices would continue to rise up to 46% between now and end of 2026. A more conservative group predicted a rise of 9.3% in that same time. Either way, prices are not expected to be going down. With inflation on the rise, a recession is looking more and more likely, however the housing market today is a far different beast than what we saw in the 2000s. This current market has been built on mortgages with sound credit and strong fundamentals which won't easily waiver even during a recession. Despite more than 100-basis point increase in mortgage rates in three months, housing experts still anticipate home prices to increase 9% this quarter. It has slowed from 19.6% increase over 2021 calendar year, but still high above historical averages. This is the time to list your home to get top dollar, but many home owners are fearful they will not be able to find their next home. “I know of people who sold their home quickly, but then have been stuck renting for a few years waiting for their hypothetical dream home to become available.

Project managers; Mark Winklespecht and Christoff Minott at The Towns at Newtown Walk in Ellis Preserve. What is a quick delivery home?

If you go to almost any builder's website, you'll become familiar with the term “Quick Delivery”. Also referred to as an “inventory” or “spec” home, a quick delivery home is a move-in ready, new construction home with the same quality materials and backed with the same warranties as a to-be built home from the ground up. “We work with our production team to build the most popular floorplans in the shortest possible time. Move-in-ready homes boast finishes and fixtures put together by our professional design team. It takes some of the anxiety out of buying new because many of the big steps are already done. This means you can buy the home closer to the end of the building process stress-free.” - Brandi Hogan V.P. of Sales for Rockwell Custom Home Builder

Quick delivery homes available at Ventry and Steelpointe by Rockwell Custom

Home Office at Steelpointe in Phoenixville. What is influencing home purchases in 2022?

Historically it has only been the emplynesters who want to downsize, but we have seen a trend moving towards an easier lifestyle for all ages. Buyers want new with all the bells and whistles with less maintenance. Instead of just needing another bedroom, the two features that became top priorities during the pandemic were a Home office and Outdoor Living space. Walkability has also become a driving factor in location choices. You can research any property's walkability at WalkScore.com.

Rockwell Custom Senior Sales Manager; Onorine Mea

With prices still on the rise, and home supply low; what choices to buyers have?

The pandemic caused product delays and rapid lumber price increases. Builders were often caught in the middle of promised prices and increased costs. There have been many unexpected variables over the last few years. Building homes to completion takes the guess work out of what the home will actually cost so that it is a win-win. The builder has an accurate understanding of profit, and the buyer has a quality home with a warranty that they do not have to get into a bidding war to obtain, nor wait 10+ months for it to be built.

Rockwell Custom is a local builder with this philosophy to offer quick delivery homes to keep up with the demand of main line home buyers. Rockwell currently has 19 homes available for summer and fall 2022 settlements in Chester and Delaware counties. You'll find them at Steelpointe in Phoenixville, Ventry at Edgmont Preserve in Newtown Square, Towns at Newtown Walk in Ellis Preserve and Rockwell on Aberdeen in Radnor. You can find more information on these quick delivery homes at RockwellCustom.com

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