SCAOR reveals that local real estate improving

Sales data released recently by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) revealed that solid gains made in Southern Delaware’s real estate markets in 2011 have become even more substantial in the current year.

Fueled largely by buying opportunities, as well as warmer-than-normal weather patterns throughout the Mid-Atlantic region thus far in 2012, market activity has increased dramatically over the same period a year ago, according to the SCAOR.

Single-family home sales for the first three months of 2012 rose more than 20 percent over the same time last year, following an 11 percent jump between 2010 and 2011, with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $229,074.

More than 600 homes were sold in Sussex County through the end of March, up more than 100 home sales from the first quarter of 2011. While there’s still an abundance of residential property for sale in Delaware’s southernmost county, the most recent data compiled by SCAOR certainly seems to support real estate’s continued recovery, representatives said.

“What I think we’re seeing right now is people who were on the sidelines waiting for signs that the economy was improving are now taking advantage of historic buying opportunities that exist in our area,” said Trina Joyner, 2012 president of SCAOR. “It’s definitely a buyer’s market, and I think the increased levels of activity bear that out. We expect to see improving numbers for the rest of the year, and, hopefully, beyond.”

With the winter of 2012 being one of the warmest on record, prospective homebuyers in Sussex County were also able to get a jump on the spring season, traditionally the strongest time of the year for real estate sales in Southern Delaware.

Now with the warmer months of the year officially here, SCAOR officials expect to see even more interest in local real estate in the days and months ahead, as the area’s beach communities come to life for the 2012 season and families become more interested in leaving their homes and enjoying the great outdoors.

“We have definitely been very blessed by the warm weather thus far this year, which has led to an even greater interest in real estate,” said Joyner. “Now, with prospective second homeowners and bargain seekers beginning to once again come to the area for the summer, we expect interest to continue to grow. This should be a great year for real estate in Southern Delaware.”

More than $155 million in local real estate was sold during the first three months of 2012 in the single-family market segment alone. Additionally, just less than $45 million was generated in condominium and/or townhome sales, nearly $3 million in mobile home sales and just a tick more than $23 million was generated in sales of land. All three segments have also shown growth from the same time period in 2011.

A little more than $229 million in total real estate sales was generated during the first quarter of Sussex County in 2012, representing a 14 percent increase from the first quarter a year ago. Every segment of the county’s real estate market showed improvement over the first three months of 2011, with the exception of the commercial market, which has not yet seen the renewed growth the rest of the market has.

Still, news that interest in Southern Delaware real estate continues on an upward trend is good news for officials, as well as for the overall economy of the area.

“We know that our area is showing signs of recovery and stabilization, which are obviously two important factors for buyers,” said Joyner. “We are very encouraged by this most recent data, and look forward to much brighter days ahead.”

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