Your Guide to the Suburban Philadelphia Real Estate Market
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Main Line Real Estate News

February 2017

Our newsletter is focused on keeping you current with national, regional, and local real estate news.  We read hundreds of articles each month and strive to share the most relevant, impactful information with you.  We hope you find value in the content and we appreciate you taking the time to read it.  If you, or anyone you know, is looking to buy or sell real estate we would welcome the opportunity to discuss our qualifications to assist.  
Did You Know:  Crescent Real Estate also owns a title company that can handle your purchase and/or refinance closing?  Crescent Abstract had the privilege of handling over 200 closings in 2016 and looks forward to another successful year!
January was a very active month with Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties posting double digit growth in pending sales. Versus January 2016, Chester County was up 37.7%, Delaware County was up 15.6% and Montgomery County was up 17.9%. Inventory is extremely low and remains a huge challenge for buyers.  6 months of standing inventory is generally considered a neutral market between buyers and sellers.  Chester County currently has 3.5 months of inventory which is down 18.6% from last January.  Delaware County has 3.9 months of inventory, down 27.8%. Montgomery County has 3.4 months of inventory, down 19%.  Market conditions certainly favor Sellers and now is a great time to list your home.  As of 2/22/17, Radnor School District only has 108 active listings and Tredyffrin-Easttown only has 183.  


                                        JAN 16            JAN 17    %Change
Chester County               351                    383           9.1%
Delaware County            357                    373           4.5%
Montgomery County       529                    501           5.3%

                       PENDING TRANSACTIONS BY COUNTY 

                                        JAN 16             JAN 17      
Chester County               337                     464        
Delaware County            398                     460  
Montgomery County       570                     672  
                                        JAN 16                 JAN 17      
Chester County           4.3 months           3.5 months     
Delaware County        5.4 months           3.9 months 
Montgomery County   4.2 months           3.4 months  


Mortgages rates have stabilized over the past few weeks after increasing following the presidential election.  Rates for 30-year fixed conforming loans are 4.25%, FHA/VA are 4.00%, and Jumbo loans are 4.25%.  Here are some general conditions we’ve observed from mortgage industry experts: 1) Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election, 2) Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, 3) With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels.


Lower Merion School District proposes a 3.85% school tax increase.  Lower Merion School District officials are proposing another tax increase of 3.85% for the 2017-18 school year, while last year’s tax hike is still under legal review in the courts. The proposed budget increases total spending from $258.9 million for 2016-17 to $267.7 million. The property tax millage rate would increase to 28.4493. One mill equals $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property value; therefore, the owner of a home assessed at the district average of $250,680 would see a property tax increase of $264. The approved budget for 2016-17 is under dispute in a legal challenge that was initiated last year. The lawsuit claims that the district has been using the threat of annual budget deficits to increase taxes at a rate that has led to large and unnecessary budget surpluses. Under an order in August by a Montgomery County, the district was ordered to lower the millage rate to 26.8616. The decision is under appeal and a decision is expected sometime within the next several weeks.  Source: Main Line Times; 1/29/2017

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Brendan Reilly
Crescent Real Estate LLC
101 E. Lancaster Avenue, Suite 304
Wayne, PA 19087
P: 215.510.2992 , F: 866.836.7013

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In response to a lawsuit brought by a Rose Valley property owner, the Delaware County Board of Assessment Appeals has received an order from the County Court of Common Pleas to conduct a reassessment of all properties in the county. The board has been directed to submit a preliminary timetable to the court by July 1, 2017. Until the countywide reassessment is completed, the prevailing Pennsylvania Tax Equalization Division (formerly STEB) ratio shall be applied to all tax assessment appeals. Delaware County is still in the process of deciding how to move forward in response to the court order.

Lower Merion hires zoning consultant.  The Lower Merion Board of Commissioners awarded a $298,000 contract to DPZ Partners, LLC of Miami to “complete a comprehensive update to the Township’s Zoning Code and updates to the Subdivision and Land Development Codes.” According to Chris Leswing, assistant director for planning, “The scope of this project is to prepare a new and innovative zoning code incorporating smart growth and neighborhood development principles to incorporate much of what’s good [in] our existing land development codes.” Leswing said the new code would include drawings to illustrate what the text is describing as well as a user guide for staff, commissioners and the public.  Source: Main Line Times; 1/22/2017

Upscale Sichuan/Taiwanese restaurant and bar, DanDan, is taking over the old Ella’s American Bistro in the Acme Plaza on Sugartown Rd. in Devon.  There is a center city location as well.  Renovations begin this week and a spring opening is planned.  In addition, Lumbrado Cocina Mexicana is moving into the old Avero space near the Devon Whole Foods Market.  The restaurant will serve authentic Mexican fare with a handful of TexMex favorites.  The location will have 220 seats, a 15-20 seat bar and a small patio in front.  Lumbrado Cocina is scheduled for a May opening.  Source: Savvy Main Line 2/15/17

Lankenau Medical Center unveiled plans Friday to spend $52.8 million to expand and enhance its emergency department.  The Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, hospital's emergency department, built to handle 35,000 patients, is currently seeing about 54,000 patients a year. Lankenau officials expect that number to increase to 73,000 by 2025. The proposed expansion project, which will require township approval, is expected to be completed in early 2019. The plan calls for adding 32,200 square feet of space to the emergency department and more than doubling the number of patient beds in the ER to 57 from 26. New space will also be used for an expanded triage area for assessing patients, supertrack, intermediate, acute and trauma treatment areas that will allow the hospital to group patients according to their medical needs, radiology capabilities and a new parking garage. Lankenau's last major expansion was completed in 2013 when the hospital opened its $465 million, five-story Heart Pavilion.  Lankenau Medical Center is part of Bryn Mawr-based Main Line Health, which also includes Bryn Mawr Hospital. That facility has its own $250 million construction project underway. Initially expected to be a $200 million investment, the cost of construction went up another $50 million with the decision to expand the patient-care pavilion by two floors.  Source: Philadelphia Business Journal 2/17/17.

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Crescent Real Estate · 101 E. Lancaster Avenue, Suite 304 · Wayne, PA 19087 · USA

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