Considering the feverish pace of home transactions over the past two years, it's understandable both buyers and sellers in suburban Philadelphia would be bracing for another roller-coaster year. Fortunately, normalcy may prove the prevailing trend for the 2022 housing market, even though it's difficult to pin down what this normal might be.
With a fresh outlook in mind, let’s explore the ins and outs of luxury Main Line real estate.
Main Line Pennsylvania real estate remains spectacular as ever
To start, there remains an incredible collection of high-end luxury homes throughout Southeast Pennsylvania. There is increasing availability from the communities closest to the Main Line to the neighborhoods spread outward in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. Chester and Delaware Counties, in particular, will continue to be favorite landing spots for new home buyers. Both have seen home values increase by more than 15% over the past twelve months.
While home prices are expected to cool off in the coming year, the homes themselves are sound investments. Post-pandemic, the Main Line region will remain a favorite draw for those who commute into Philadelphia. More importantly, the new trend of individuals either permanently or semi-permanently working from homes means the stately homes in Devon, Gladwyne, Malvern, and Wayne will prove especially popular.
Additionally, if you’re an architecture enthusiast, the Main Line offers the additional bonus of an eclectic mix of home styles, including stately Classic and Dutch Colonial mansions, Craftsman and Bungalow homes, Tudor Revivals, and mid-century modern designs.
Interest rates will rise
Don't expect the Fed to push rates too hard. It's safe to anticipate a gradual rise throughout the year with 2022 ending with mortgage rates at or near 4%. Still, it’s an attractive number to purchase a home considering the last time rates were that high was May 2019. This isn’t necessarily bad for patient buyers who waited out the untenable conditions of 2021.
Home prices start their descent
That said, prices will not shrink back to pre-pandemic levels. The Main Line market remains too valuable and sought after for that to occur. However, with fewer bidders driving up prices, market holdouts may finally get an opportunity to break through and purchase a home.
Inventory starts its ascent
New development may also see an uptick, though high land and material costs will continue to slow the pace of housing construction. For those seeking new homes, the cities and towns nearest Philadelphia will offer the greatest opportunity for brand new residential property.
Ultimately, homebuyers will see the most inventory emerge from the standard listing market. Between timid sellers finally making a move to list and current owners who cannot wait, an influx of new availability should trickle into the market over the course of the next few months.
The Main Line will continue to be a popular place to buy. The most sought-after locations across Southeast Pennsylvania will still have some competition in the coming months, though bidding wars may finally be a thing of the past the further we move into 2022.
A new generation of buyers
The second group of buyers represented both Millennials and the succeeding Generation Z. Both generations made a small but meaningful impact on the housing market in 2021. The former is entering a transitional period where upgrading their living situation will push a significant portion of new buyers into the luxury market.
For their part, Gen Z will be chasing their first home purchase. Many buyers in this demographic will be part of the new wave of remotely employed homeowners. Though some high-end neighborhoods may be just out of reach, others will feature the space and amenities they require at a more amenable price point. It will push competition for these mid-level luxury homes higher.
Navigating the market for new buyers
If possible, be flexible with your home search. One of the best aspects of real estate across Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties is the outstanding variety of luxury homes. Each community is also rich with amenities and close to standout schools, both private and public. If you’re willing to stretch your target area by a few miles, there is a wealth of riches to uncover.
Additionally, if you find the perfect home and want to ensure a less competitive buying process, bring cash to the transaction. While not always possible, it remains the primary reason many homebuyers broke through multiple bid situations in 2020 and again in 2021. That said, when it comes to making a purchase, make only the decisions you are most comfortable with. As spectacular as Main Line living is, you do not want to be stuck with a home ill-suited to your lifestyle. Don’t accept conditions that are out of your reach, and perform as much due diligence as possible.
Partnering with an experienced real estate professional can help you navigate what can be a challenging process. Whether you’re seeking new property in one of the northeast’s most sought-after locales or ready to reap the rewards of a long-held investment, contact Lorna Isen today.
Recognized as one of the top agents across the Main Line region, including Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery counties, Lorna is ready to lead you through your Main Line real estate journey. Lorna’s years of experience, knowledge, and expertise will ensure you discover the ideal luxury property or find the perfect buyer for your current residence.