Against all odds, the Pennsylvania real estate market had a strong year in 2021. And despite forecasts that home prices are to increase this year, mortgage rates remain low and the market continues to offer reasonably priced housing compared to neighboring states. Remote work opportunities also continue to thrive due to the ongoing pandemic. These are only some factors that fuel homebuyer demand to remain steady in 2022.
If you’re planning on purchasing a home in Pennsylvania this year, this is your sign. To help you make smart and informed decisions, we are here to give you home buying tips and the best reasons to buy a house in PA this year.
- Housing prices in Pennsylvania remain lower than US average
- Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate continues to decline
- It’s a haven for first-time homebuyers
As of writing, home prices in Pennsylvania have increased by 14.9% over 2021. The median home sale price also increased about 37% from 2017. That said, buying a home in Pennsylvania is still relatively more affordable compared to other states.
The average home cost in Pennsylvania is $249,137, significantly lower than the average home price in the US in general, which is at $320,662. According to U.S. News, Pennsylvania is also the 8th most affordable state to purchase a home.
All of these indicate that buying a home in Pennsylvania is a good investment for the long term, especially right now when interest rates remain low.
Reports from December 2021 revealed that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 5.4%, down from July 2021’s 6.5%. More employment opportunities mean a robust economy, which also opens more opportunities for you in career and business. It also helps that more Fortune 500 companies and startups are moving to Pennsylvania or being established in the state.
Speaking of work, remote arrangements continue to be popular across different sectors. If working from home is your current setup or something that’s on the horizon, our best advice for buying a home is to look for housing options in the suburbs. For instance, explore Chester County.
Chester County, with West Chester as its seat, is part of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area. Housing options will abound, and so will career and business opportunities.
If it’s your first time to buy a home, consider Pennsylvania your playground. According to this 2022 housing market forecast, new construction and resale homes will enter the market this year. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
More importantly, it’s easy for first-time homebuyers to acquire their first home in Pennsylvania. Your standard fare includes the following:
- FHA Home Loan – This is a popular first-time homebuyer program in PA. It is used along with home assistance buying programs.
- VA Home Loan – The PA VA home loan program allows for 100% financing of the home purchase for eligible Veterans, active military members, and eligible family members.
- USDA Home Loan – Available in multiple areas within PA, this homebuyer program may finance 100% of the home purchase.
Apart from the usual, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency also offers several assistance programs. Lastly, every locality in Pennsylvania has their own homebuyer incentives, grants, and buying programs. For instance, the first-time homebuyer programs in Chester County, PA provide education and real estate advice for buyers along with financial assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals and families interested in buying a first home within the area.
We might sound like a broken record, but we can’t emphasize this enough— interest rates are still low. But it might increase this year.
In 2021, the US real estate market experienced historically low interest rates, with the average interest rate being only 2.8% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Many mortgage experts are predicting interest rates to increase within this year, so you might as well take advantage of the low rates now. And as mentioned, home values are also increasing. If you time your purchase right, you’ll have the chance to increase the buildup of equity in your new home.
Still not sure if you should buy a house in Pennsylvania this year or wait? Working with a trustworthy real estate agent will help you to get the right insights that will help with your decision.
RE/MAX Direct can provide you with real estate tips to help you explore the Chester County market as a buyer. Our team is more than excited to help you get started. Connect with our team today at 610.430.8100 or send us an email at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com to be one step closer to your dream home.