State of Delaware Real Estate and Home Inspection Markets

Today I’m going to look at the residential.

commercial, and legal aspects of the Delaware real estate market. This is not intended to be an in-depth inspection (pun intended!), but more of a quick look around the place.


Residential

Kent County is still growing month over month in terms of houses sold and the median price of houses sold. New Castle is selling slightly more homes for slightly less money so it’s edging back towards a buyer’s market. Sussex is selling fewer homes and the homes sold are being sold for a bit less money. Please see the chart below for numbers. And thank you Bright for those numbers!

Across all counties, the median home price has increased 25%, but the average list price has only increased 18% from last year. Nominally this means there's less skew in the housing market. Unfortunately, that's because we're all paying more for houses now. Or, from the seller's perspective... Hurray! Many people are paying more for houses now, not just the very wealthy!

Statistics note for anyone interested: When a few people at the top buy very expensive houses it pulls up the average. If prices are evenly distributed the average and the median will be the same. From last year to this year the average and the median are relatively closer so we're seeing less pressure from the top. Because homes are more expensive across the board. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.



Commercial

While there are many fewer sales in the commercial end of the pool that doesn’t mean there isn’t activity. Delaware has a lot of plans and programs in place to attract and keep businesses. Delaware has instituted 36 economic incentive deals over the last five years. Such programs and grants include a discretionary cash grant for new capital investment. New capital investment means new buildings, or used buildings to inspect and sell which is good for agents and inspectors. Delaware also offers a discretionary grant for new or expanding job-generating businesses, the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund.


Those grants and programs mean new commercial properties to inspect, which is great but there will still be relatively few inspections compared with residential real estate. The Delaware Strategic Fund provides low-interest loans for new job creation, expansion, relocation, and brownfield development. While Delaware has long had a business-friendly atmosphere the additional incentives have led Dan Rattay, CBRE Senior Vice President to say, “Many developers consider Northern Delaware as the next frontier along the I-95 Corridor…” I wasn’t aware we had many frontiers left in Delaware, but I always like to see our state being appreciated!


Bright numbers on Delaware commercial sales:


Legal Items on the Horizon

House Bill (HB) 358 has bipartisan support and will reduce the cost to buy a house in Delaware if it is passed. The bill aims to reduce realty transfer tax by 1% which would bring it back down to 2017 levels. Now the state takes 3% of the home’s sale value for its coffers and the local government takes up to 1.5%.