Data shows continuing upward trend in county real estate

Second quarter sales data released by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) last week shows a continuously strengthening real estate market in Delaware’s southernmost county. The latest in a series of strong reports issued by the county’s only real estate trade association, the data, representatives said, is cause for continuing optimism among industry professionals.

“For the last several quarters, as the data comes into our office and it’s become clear that real estate is in a very real and very sustained recovery here in our area, we get even more excited about the future,” said Bob McVey, 2013 president of SCAOR. “As we’ve said time and time again, the real estate market is a good indicator of the broader economy, so we think Sussex County is in for some much brighter days ahead.”

Single-family home sales for the months of April through June rose more than 11 percent over the same quarter a year ago, with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $239,100. This is the third consecutive year that Sussex County has seen the number of sales trending upward.

Of perhaps even greater significance, they said, the amount of housing inventory available in Sussex County has been reduced from 78 weeks a year ago to only 49.7 weeks now. Defined by the industry as the amount of time it would take to sell all current listings at the current sales pace if no new listings became available, the figure is a significant improvement over past years.

“This is clearly great news for Sussex County and welcome news for residents out there who are trying to sell their homes in this new environment,” said McVey. “Property in the area is moving at a much faster clip than it was even 12 months ago. It seems we have survived the downturn and things are now improving greatly throughout the region. It’s definitely a good time to be involved in the real estate business in southern Delaware.”

A total of 1,044 homes were sold in Sussex County through the end of June, compared to only 928 in 2012. In total, more than $301 million worth of single-family real estate has changed hands during the first six months of 2013.

An underperformer for many months, the second quarter of 2013 is also the second consecutive reporting period that Sussex County’s commercial real estate market has showed significant gains. More than $6.6 million in commercial real estate was sold between April and June, a nearly 20 percent increase over the same period in 2012.

More than $392 million in local real estate was sold through the first half of 2013 in Sussex County, in the residential market alone. Additionally, nearly $10 million in land sales were completed during the first quarter of the year, as well as the $6.6 million in commercial real estate sales.

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