real estate

How’s the Del. housing market? Depends on who you talk to

Ken MammarellaBusiness, Headlines

real estate

Different statistics paint different pictures of the Delaware housing market. (Photo by RDNE Stock project/Pexels)

My uncle, a resident of Bethany Beach, liked to say that people who lived at the beach talked about three things: real estate, the weather and where to eat.

Here are a few interesting numbers to spark a conversation about real estate:

• The Lewes area is Delaware’s hottest market in terms of rising prices, according to the real estate site Redfin. “The median sale price of a home in Lewes was $784K last month, up 30.7% since last year,” it said. Contrast that to the Laurel area, where prices are down 11.7%.

Sussex County has Delaware’s priciest homes, $450,648 on average, a 26.96% increase from 2021. That’s the conclusion of New Jersey Real Estate Network in looking at data from Zillow. The statewide average is $365,168.93, up $18.3%.

• Delaware has the nation’s oldest homebuyers, with 38% of buyers age 55 and older, compared to the national average of 20.7%, Delaware Public Media reported in April.

These stats demonstrate, in different ways, the trend of people retiring to the Sussex beaches. And Redfin users looking at homes in the Lewes area are most likely coming from the Washington, D.C., area.


Delaware’s real estate transfer tax collections soared during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, but have been much lower in recent months, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Committee has repeatedly reported at meetings. Transfer tax is one of the many indicators they watch to assess the state’s finances.

“The Delaware housing market is experiencing a major shift,” Houzeo concludes, citing data from Redfin. “The median sale price decreased by 0.14% in April 2023 year-on-year, and the number of homes sold dropped by 29.7%.”

“Delaware homes stayed on the market for an average of 17 days, up from 7 days from last year,” and Delaware is expected to see a decrease in home prices by 20%.

Stats from the Delaware Association of Realtors paint a different picture. Sales in April fell 29%, compared to April of 2022. Listing prices were up 6.8% to $389,963, while sale prices averaged $363,818. New listings and pending units were both down 20%.

And one more stat, from a 2021 federal Department of Housing and Urban Development study. The average sale price of new homes then was $394,200, while the average sale price of existing homes was $255,400.

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