The Delaware housing market is not only stepping up and showing some positive changes, but also presenting itself as a socio-economically conscious domain in a state where there seems to be a real preoccupation for balance and support. If Delaware’s possible evolution back in 2013 was seen in a rather pessimistic light, the state fared better than many of its neighbors from an economic point of view. The three counties of Delaware, the state with the smallest number of counties in the country, are empowered by the Delaware Housing Authority through different actions and projects. These are aimed to help Delawareans benefit from the opportunity of owning a safe and affordable home. Good news also includes constant job growth, which generates household growth and new housing demand. Prices on homes also recovered at a slow and stable ascension.
Let us expand on some of our housing market predictions for the state. We’ll examine areas such as New Castle, Kent and Sussex. 2014 was a good year, and rumor has it (along with the concrete figures) that 2015 will bring an increase as large as 20% of new and existing home sales!
Primary Factors of the 2015 Delaware Housing Market
- Hello, baby boomers! Welcome to Delaware, the state with lower taxes, the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation and proximity to metropolitan areas like Newark or Middletown. Oh yes, and the lovely beach communities! If you’re looking for a good place to retire, you can check for a pen and sign your application as soon as possible. Delaware is a great option on the housing market for second homes, vacation homes or retirement homes, being on the check-list for two categories of buyers: people looking to embetter their housing conditions and perhaps move to the beach in a larger home and spend their life savings on decorating a bedroom with a view to the ocean and the second: successful baby boomers trying to find a dreamy place to crash in the weekend and escape the big, loud cities. Over 80% of projected household growth is from out-of-state households moving to Delaware, according to the Delaware State Housing Authority 2015-2020 Housing Needs Assessment.
- The star of the area is definitely Sussex County. According to Sussex County Association of Realtors, real estate transactions summed up to $1.5 billion in 2014 and there was an increase of 3 percent in property sales. The median home price in Sussex County was around $360.000 back in 2014, which again means a 5 percent evolution. On top of that the number of days a property spent on the market decreased in 2014 and we predict there should be no reason for the numbers to at least keep steady, if not continue to surprise us – positively, that is. Also, Sussex is the county with most homes up for sale, followed by New Castle.
- Delaware is more expensive than its neighbor, Pennsylvania. With $184,400, the median home value in Delaware County is about $30.000 – $35.000 higher than in Pennsylvania. While home values have gone up over the past year in Delaware by 0.6 percent, according to Zillow, and there is a 0.8 percent increase forecasted for the upcoming year, Pennsylvania rocks a higher 0.8 percent growth in 2014 and a more optimistic 1.3 percent increase expected to roll out in the coming months. But if you want to rent a property, you can find houses cheaper by $200 – $ 250 per month in Delaware (regarding the median value).
- If rising mortgage rates are a reason for economists to speculate over in 2015, then let us take a look at some numbers in Delaware. Through Delaware State Housing Authorityand its Homeownership Loan Program, qualified Delaware homebuyers can find first mortgage financing at below-market interest rates, starting from250%, which is lower than the current national 4 percent and the expected 4.6 – 5 percent by the end of 2015, so real estate experts.
- The new construction market addresses smaller budgets with different needs. It responds to changing demand with smaller, more affordable units closer in to towns and cities, according to Delaware Housing Needs Assessment for 2015-2020. Previous generations had a smaller number of unmarried adults, couples without children (31% of all households) or singles (26% of all households), increasing the demand for smaller units. The same source indicates an expected 12 percent increase of households until 2020.
- A particular aspect of the current housing market predictions is that more households are renters now in Delaware than any time in the past 20 years. That means an increase in the demand for rental housing stock and limited availability for low income households. Some of the current rental housing stock has focused on single family development and is now older and perhaps needs repairs. Add that to the demographic modifications in housing preferences and then try to conclude if Delaware will still be preferred for its renting opportunities or for new investments?
What makes Delaware even more special, accessible or “housing-friendly”? Well, back in 1968, an institution dedicated to providing appropriate support to inhabitants with low and moderate incomes started setting up opportunities for quality and affordable housing opportunities, and it is called Delaware State Housing Authority. The institution functions as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, serves as a Public Housing Authority and nonetheless acts as a Community Development and Planning Agency as well. That means much more opportunities and support for Delawareans looking for a new or existing home, which sparks trust, hope and belief for those Americans who probably thought they might never own a home of their own again. The Delaware Housing Authority supports both first-time and repeat buyers, by offering low-rate mortgages and also the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit. The activity of this kind of institutions successfully pairs buyers with affordable mortgages. Right next to making people happy and registering success. This boosts up the real estate in the area (along with Delaware real estate predictions for the future), reaching the state’s economy and certainly affecting the citizens’ mood! Here’s a clear example: last year, more than $28.5 million in mortgage loans have been secured through Delaware’s homeownership programs, reaching out to not less than 176 families. In the past six years, the same lender helped 886 families, summing up mortgages of $139 million.
Delaware Housing Authority is also preoccupied with the community and neighborhood, perhaps another reason for which Delaware is definitely a good place to live. Imagine there is an intention to actively support community development, address crime strategies, and transform neighborhoods that are experiencing blight or other forms of stress. The Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund awarded not less than $2.755M to recipients about to implement a comprehensive approach to strengthening communities and rebuilding neighborhoods. The lucky winning applications are Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc., New Castle County Department of Community Services and Wilmington Housing Partnership. The funds will be spent for acquisition, renovation, and sale of vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties throughout the State. If one might think this is a welcomed initiative only in regards to the house market or the real estate businesses, but that would be far from the truth. Such projects actually create new employment opportunities, an overall growth in the state economically speaking and last, but not least: a certain elevation among people’s moods.
Positive housing market predictions are certainly a consequence of the good work that the state housing authority does for homebuyers. In the past year, 500 families received support through programmes like the Neighborhood Stabilization or Delaware Emergency Mortgage. More than 1.000 families and individuals received financial support and housing counseling thanks to DSHA providing foreclosure prevention. Almost 500 families and individuals benefited from the Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention assistance. The same institution chipped in almost $90 million for 700 homebuyers in first mortgage loans and other home purchase assistance.
Another reassuring programme conducted by DSHA is the Manufactured Housing Assistance Program, which provides owners with assistance in preventing eviction or repossession of their primary residence. If a Delawarean owner of manufactured homes loses 15% or more of his or her income from involuntary loss or reduction of employment, or is unable to work due to an injury or illness, one can apply to be a part of this supporting programme.
Under these conditions, who wouldn’t enjoy living in a safe and reassuring environment, where citizens receive real support from the authorities in regards to a large variety of possible housing issues? Not only that Delaware sounds like a sweet state to call home, but we predict a smooth and balanced evolution of its housing market – and not only!