The Tax Credit is gone, but deals get done, DE agents report…
The welcome frenzy of the home buyer tax credit has begun to fade from Delaware’s residential market, but signs of natural momentum and greater stability remain, real estate agents say.
While far fewer sales contracts were signed in May than last year in both Kent and New Castle counties, far more deals went to closing than in May 2009, driven by the momentum of the tax-credit program that expired in April. Sussex County sales, on the other hand, were up across the board as vacation-home buyers responded to summer’s approach.
“I feel like buyers are tired of waiting for the shoe to drop. They seem to have the money. They certainly want to be here,” said Lauren Alberti of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bethany Beach.
Sale prices were off in Kent by 1.1 percent and in New Castle by 7 percent from last May, but rose a solid 11 percent in Sussex, according to the Sussex County Association of Realtors.
With buyers’ chances of getting an $8,000 tax credit gone, Kent saw 20 percent fewer contracts signed in May than last year, and New Castle was off 31 percent.
Tax-credit deals were still driving settlements throughout May, however — closings were up 40 percent in Kent, and 34 percent in New Castle, according to Trend MLS. Contract signings were up 8.1 percent in Sussex, and settlements rose 10.7 percent.
“I think realism has set in some, and the sellers are saying, ‘If there’s a buyer out there and we can come to terms, let’s do it,’ ” Alberti said. “There was a time where buyers wanted the sellers to leave blood on the floor.”
Year-to-date, sales are up 31 percent compared with the same period last year in Kent, 15 percent in New Castle. Year-to-date prices are down 4.3 percent in Kent, 2.6 percent in New Castle. Sussex does not calculate year-to-date data.
DELAWARE HOME SALES FOR MAY
New Castle: 455, Sussex: 298, Kent: 126
Sussex: 322, New Castle: 313, Kent: 101
New Castle: 419, Sussex: 225, Kent: 95
New Castle: 562, Sussex: 249, Kent: 133
Kent: $212,158, New Castle: $247,959. Sussex: $290,813
Sussex: $322,185, New Castle: $230,425, Kent: $209,759
Source: Trend MLS, Sussex County Association of Realtors
By ERIC RUTH • The News Journal • June 12, 2010