Posted: February 1st, 2011
Today I talk about a recent report by Zillow.com, everyone’s “favorite” real estate website, and their rankings of 125 metro areas in the US for 2010. They called it the “ten best places to buy”. Here’s the link:
Turns out that the Lancaster, PA real estate market (the metro area around Lancaster City) was ranked #7 out of the 125. Zillow researchers listed the top 10 as:
1. Utica, N.Y.
2. Oklahoma City, Okla.
3. Rochester, N.Y.
4. Pittsburgh, PA
5. Tulsa, Okla.
6. Albany, N.Y.
7. Lancaster, PA
8. Madison, Wis.
9. Green Bay, Wis.
10. Lincoln, Neb.
In a nutshell, Zillow’s business model is to strip deed records from counties and build models of home sales & values. I’m sure they used these data for their average home price of $179,300 for the Lancaster metro area (most likely the zip codes that are labeled as “Lancaster” – 17601,17602,17603 that includes most of Manheim Township, East Hempfield Township, Lancaster Township and Lancaster City, plus a good portion of Manor Township, West Hempfield Township and West Lampeter Township).
So anyway, the Zillow study tabulated numbers for “affordability”, unemployment, % of foreclosure sales and the change in their recorded prices for the metro areas. Using that matrix Lancaster scored very well.
I was interested in the top ten areas – mostly in the west-midwest and a narrow section of PA and NY. Isn’t that interesting?
As I’ve been telling my customers for years, the Lancaster area is not getting hit with 40% price reductions, foreclosures aren’t every other house sale, and the blue-collar and sefl-employed work environment doesn’t lend itself to mass layoffs and an adrift professional class. This Zillow report just backs those insights up. Lancaster PA homes for sale are as affordable as ever and it actually IS a good time to buy (ubiquitous marketing pitches notwithstanding).
If you want to talk about this Zillow study, home sale stats in Lancaster County Real Estate or any other homes subject email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here.