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Fun with numbers

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This week I thought I'd share a final few pieces of 2013 real estate market analysis with you – some numbers you probably won't see anywhere else, in fact.

Here we go:

What’s the median year built of homes sold in the midstate these days? Well, I’m glad you asked: 1977. Remember when? “Star Wars” and “Jaws” were the big hits on screen and Motown was hot.

We ran this analysis for all the local counties and the one with the newest median home age was… Adams County, with 1987 as the building year. Oldest was a tie between Dauphin and Berks at 1971 – the effect of large cities with older homes. Cumberland was newer at 1985, and the rest of the counties fell into the mid-1970s. What’s old is new again…

But how big are the homes that are selling these days? I’m glad you asked! Answer: 1,771 square feet on average. This number has been steady for a few years now, in fact. The biggest average homes? Cumberland County at 1,869. The smallest? Perry County at 1,649. With Central PA’s healthy mix of urban, suburban and new homes, I expect to see this number stay very close in 2014 as well.

Lastly, how much $$$ are sellers giving away to buyers these days to “sweeten the deal” (we call it “seller help” or “seller assistance” in the industry; of course it’s the buyer who’s actually getting the help and assistance in this case).

In our region, the average seller help on residential transactions in 2013 was $5,698 – down 6 percent from the year before. That much will still help a buyer get the extra cash needed to make the transaction work, and my expectation for 2014 is that, while we may see a continued decline, seller help will be with us for some time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a few weeks of stats (I love stats). Now on to 2014 – and let’s make some new stats for our companies!

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services. Jeff lives in East Petersburg, where he also serves as mayor.

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