Housing Market Report

Pennsylvania Housing Market Report for the first quarter of 2016

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Kim Shindle
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Previous Reports

Fourth Quarter, 2015 | Third Quarter, 2015
Second Quarter, 2015

Negative housing headlines should be read with calm or skepticism, not alarm. National housing trends, like the steady rise in home prices and decline in inventory, should certainly be observed with care, but tracking wider economic conditions is also necessary. Buyers want to get into the market, but unlike the rising-price sales environment of ten years ago, people are not diving headlong into risky mortgages or uncomfortable situations. This carefulness should be celebrated, not feared.

New Listings increased 7.3 percent to 50,297 in the first quarter of 2016.
New Listings increased 7.3 percent to 50,297. Pending Sales were up 2.2 percent to 30,349. Inventory levels shrank 4.2 percent to 80,861 units.
The Median Sales Price increased 1.3 percent to $155,000 in the first quarter of 2016.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 1.3 percent to $155,000. Days on Market was down 7.4 percent to 88 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 13.3 percent to 7.2 months.
Days on Market was down 7.4 percent to 88 days in the first quarter of 2016.

Employment figures are positive, wages are going up and employers are hiring. Consumers are holding for the right deal, even in the face of extremely low mortgage rates. As seller and builder confidence increases, we should see more activity in Q2 2016. The second quarter tends to rank as the best time to list a home for sale. But if inventory stays low, it will be difficult to sustain sales increases in year-over-year comparisons. Prices are seemingly not so high as to stall the market completely. Demand is present but an abundance of choice is not, and therein lies the rub.