Southern Delaware real estate continues modest growth

For the fifth consecutive year, data compiled and released by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) earlier this month indicates a period of modest growth in the region’s real estate markets.

Again led by the coastal market, the numbers indicate nearly $1.52 billion in southern Delaware real estate changed hands in 2015, which is a 1 percent increase over the previous year.

There were more than 5,000 properties sold during the calendar year, also a 1 percent gain from 2014.

But sales exclusively in the category of “single-family homes,” which excludes commercial properties, lots and land, mobile homes and condominiums, were up 6 percent over 2014 figures.

“We’re continuing on this path of modest growth, and that’s really what we want to see here in southern Delaware year after year,” said 2016 SCAOR President Frank Serio. “We are fortunate to be buoyed by a strong coastal market, but overall the county is performing very well, as indicated by the fifth year in a row of positive data.”

Single-family home sales for 2015 accounted for more than $1 billion, with the average residential home in the county selling for a price of $359,395.

In total, 2,921 single-family homes were sold in Sussex County in 2015, with residential homes remaining on the market last year for an average of 86 days before sale.

“All in all, the data here is very positive and, most importantly, the rate of growth is slow and steady,” said Serio. “We may have had better overall years in the last decade but, as we later found out, it wasn’t sustainable. This steady rate of growth leads to a much healthier overall real estate market in Sussex County.”

Year-end figures revealed that more than 5,000 real estate transactions were completed in Sussex County during the last calendar year. That includes single-family homes, as well as more than $307 million in townhome and condominium sales, nearly $23 million in mobile home sales and more than $105 million in sales of lots and land. There were also 12 farms that were sold last year, with the average farm selling for approximately $475,000.

Commercial real estate, which has enjoyed a recovery of its own in the last couple of years, showed gains again in 2015, with nearly $34 million in commercial sales being conducted in the county. A total of 64 commercial properties changed hands during the previous calendar year.

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