by Thom T
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The Bucks County real estate market is poised to trend upward in 2016. Known as one of the most desirable residential regions of suburban Philadelphia, Bucks County, like much of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, had seen median home values (MHV) essentially remain flat, with a negligible annual increase of 0.3% to $285,500 in 2015. Solesbury maintains the highest MHV within Bucks County with a value of $557,500. Plumstead Township falls in the middle of the spectrum at $373,300, with Dublin filling out the bottom of the range at $255,800. Those values are forecast to increase by 1.1% to $288,640 for 2016, and for realtors and homeowners alike, that movement offers encouragement and cautious optimism.
Various factors are expected to contribute to the bump in the housing market. Primarily, inventory of homes for sale has decreased from 3,063 in January, 2015 to 2,603 in January, 2016. Those numbers reflect a 15% year over year decrease and provide an indication that consumer confidence is on the rise with respect to active home buyers in Bucks County. Subsequently, an increase in buyer demand coupled with a decrease in home supply will aid in pushing home values upward. Coupled with the decrease in inventory, the average home for sale sat on the market for 87 days in 2015 as opposed to the current stay of 83 days. This is yet another bellwether that demand for housing is increasing in the upscale Philadelphia suburban market.
Foreclosures having been trending much lower in Bucks County when compared to metropolitan Philadelphia as well as the national foreclosure rate. Bucks County homes foreclosed at a rate of 1.6 per 10,000. This is markedly lower than that of Philadelphia in which homes foreclose at a rate of 2.2 per 10,000, and that of the national foreclosure rate of 2.7.
Spotlight on Communities: Low, Mid, and High MHVs
Historic Solebury, bordering the Delaware River in the northeastern part of Bucks County and nearby to Washington Crossing Park, is one of the most exclusive residential areas in the region. The township currently lists 579 homes for sale at a median listing price of $575,000.
Plumstead Township, a community of about 12,900 residents, also sits along the Delaware River. Known for its active farmland and rural beauty, Plumstead Township was formed around 1700 by Quakers seeking religious freedom. As of January 2016, home supply was extremely tight in the township, with only 3 homes listed at a median value of $675,000
Just a few miles north of the county seat of Doylestown lies Dublin, where median listing values for the six current homes for sale sits at $271,000, according to realtor.com. There is curiosity surrounding the origin of the borough’s name. Legend has it that a feud between tavern co-owners led one of the men to construct a similar business adjacent to the original, and that Dublin was derived from “double inn’’. Alternate lore simply states that the town was named in honor of Irish settlers’ birthplace.
With a positive forecast on the horizon for the Bucks County real estate market, it stands to reason that property values should continue to increase. As a result, home bidders are likely to experience competitiveness when making offers on properties for sale. Plan accordingly when shopping for new beginnings in these storied Philadelphia suburbs.