Realtors say first-quarter data shows growth

Buoyed by a stronger-than-forecasted first quarter, the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) announced this week a revised outlook for 2016 that would continue what they described as a years-long period of modest and steady growth in southern Delaware’s real estate markets.

A total of 864 homes were sold in Sussex County between Jan.1 and March 31, a number they said has industry professionals hopeful and confident of another strong year at the local level.

“To be closing an average of nearly 10 properties a day during the winter months is indeed impressive and has us all anticipating another positive year here in Sussex County,” said Frank Serio, 2016 president of SCAOR. “Of course, the most active months of the year are still ahead of us, and we’re excited to see how the market will fare during the spring and summer periods. We’re certainly expecting very good things during this year’s high season.”

Countywide, the average sales price for a three-bedroom residential home continues to hover around the $250,000 mark, as it has for some time. Homes with four bedrooms or more are selling for an average of just under $500,000 in Sussex County, with the majority of those sales occurring in the coastal areas.

First-quarter data also indicates that homes are selling faster in Sussex County thus far in 2016, with one in every four homes remaining on the market for 30 days or less and 38 percent of homes going under contract in less than two months.

“All in all, we remain optimistic that 2016 as a whole is going to be very good for real estate here in southern Delaware,” said Serio. “Interest in the area has remained strong, and we expect it to be even stronger now that spring has arrived and more people are going to be visiting our area, whether to vacation or to visit with loved-ones.

“Sussex County is the fastest growing county in Delaware in terms of home sales, and we expect that trend will continue for the rest of this year and for many years to come.”

In addition to strong single-family home sales, Serio said all other segments are also trending in a positive way, including lots and land, townhomes and condominiums, farms and commercial properties.

The data released by SCAOR is compiled from the Association’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which tracks all data regarding real estate transactions in Sussex County.

To read more about issues related to Sussex County’s real estate industry, visit SCAOR’s website at