Main Line Townhome Market 2023 - 2024

Introduction

As we move through 2024, both current and potential residents of the Greater Philadelphia area are keenly interested in the trends shaping the Main Line townhome market. This bustling market, characterized by its desirable location and high-quality residences, continues to be as active as current home inventory will allow. We'll explore where it stands based on the latest statistics and examine what the future may hold for this coveted area.

Current Market Overview

The Main Line townhome market remains a robust seller's market as we step into the second quarter of 2024. With an inventory of just 1.09 months' worth of homes, this market is significantly tighter than the balanced market standard of 5 to 6 months. Townhomes have been selling at 102% of the list price, typically within six days of listing, highlighting the high demand in this area. However, despite the brisk pace of sales, price fluctuations have been minimal, with no clear upward or downward trend in the overall prices. This consistency of overall price and price per square foot means that comparable sales over the past year are an excellent guide to current value of a property.

Key Statistics 2nd Quarter 2023 – 1st Quarter 2024:

  • Median Days on Market: 6
  • Average Sold Price vs. Original List Price: 102%
  • Median Price per Square Foot: $297
  • Quarterly Sales Decline: From 186 in Q2 of 2023 to 106 in Q1 of 2024
  • Months of Inventory: 1.09

Year-Over-Year Comparison

A comparison between Q1 of 2023 and Q1 of 2024 reveals some interesting trends:

  • Median Price: Decreased by 4.5%
  • Median Square Feet: Reduced by 6.8%
  • Price per Square Foot: Increased marginally by less than 1%
  • Days on Market: Increased by 14.3%
  • Months of Inventory: Increased by 18%
  • Number of Sales: Increased by 9.3%

These figures suggest that while more units sold in Q1 of 2024 compared to the previous year, they sold for less, albeit slightly more per square foot, and took longer to sell due to an increased inventory. The decreased square footage of homes along with consistent price per square foot explains the price decline.

Quarterly Comparison

Comparing Q1 of 2024 with the last quarter of 2023, we see slight variations:

  • Price of Townhomes: Increased by 1.9%
  • Volume of Sales: Decreased by 14.5%
  • Square Footage: Increased by 8%
  • Price per Square Foot: Decreased by 2.4%
  • Days on Market: Increased by 14.3%
  • Inventory: Increased by 4.4%

These stats indicate a market without a clear directional trend but with adjustments likely influenced by seasonal variations, inventory changes and the increase in unit size. There is no clear current direction up or down in price to the Main Line townhome market as of the end of first quarter of 2024.

New Construction Impact

New construction townhomes represent a significant portion of the market, accounting for 9.7% of the sales in the past year. These luxury properties have a median price that is 105% higher than the overall market, reflecting the premium quality and larger size of these homes. The price per square foot for new construction homes is 44% higher than the average for all townhomes.

Location of New Construction Homes:

  • Western Main Line towns: Wayne, Devon, Malvern, and Newtown Square

Factors Affecting the Market

Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rates have hovered around 7% throughout the last year, which has limited buying capacity for some and deterred others from selling, preferring to hold onto their lower-rate mortgages.

Land Scarcity

The scarcity of buildable land on the Main Line has constrained new development, particularly of townhome communities, which are primarily available in the western towns of the Main Line.

Top Selling Areas

The leading zip codes for townhome sales on the Main Line, through the MLS, show varied development activities:

  • 19087 Wayne: Leading with large existing developments like Chesterbrook and Rebel Hill
  • 19073 Newtown Square: Featuring new construction at Newtown Walk at Ellis Preserve and Ventry at Edgmont Preserve
  • 19355 Malvern: Including homes at large recently completed or almost completed communities such as Atwater and Spring Oak
  • 19003 Ardmore and 19010 Bryn Mawr: Showing continued activity with older townhomes that are not part of a named development

 

Summary

The Main Line townhome market continues the strong performance it has had for years. With a mix of new construction, recently built and more traditional townhomes, ranging in price from $200,000 to over $1,500,000, there are diverse opportunities for both buyers and sellers. As 2024 progresses, stakeholders in this market will do well to monitor sales trends closely and compare them to historical sales data while keeping an eye on broader economic indicators such as interest rates that influence housing demand and supply on the Main Line.

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