The 2012 outlook for the real estate sector is not significantly different from the previous outlooks.  The term “elusive clarity” was used two years ago when we had no visibility on fundamentals. Fundamentals stabilized and slowly continued to improve, but the view on potential interest rates moves was then murky. Mr. Bernanke came to the rescue, signaling to the market that rates would remain low for an extended period. And yet, we still find ourselves talking about elusive clarity, now on global macro challenges: a highly-charged election year with the backdrop of stable (albeit tepid) economic growth and job creation in the U.S., the European debt crisis (tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga), and of course, sputtering global economic growth.


So long as such significant uncertainty continues, we see:

1. Broader market volatility persisting as our “new normal”

2. Investors remaining focused on capital preservation, staying invested in cash (despite barely-there yield) and trading around already-invested positions rather than investing thematically and possibly taking on more risk.


The 5 year analysis of the Sussex County beach real estate market shows the number of units sold is down 13.03% or 1334 units sold from the 1534 units sold in 2007.


In the Bethany Beach, Ocean View and Fenwick Island west of the canal areas there was a 5% increase of the number of listings put on the market and an increase of 3% in the number of listings sold.  That being said, the average List Price was down 1%, and the average Sale Price was down 10% to an average of $300,766


The beach areas of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island saw a drop in listings put on the market of 8% for a total of 255 and a drop in number of units sold down 4% to 114.  The average List Price of New Listings was down 11% to $973,454 and on the bright side the average Sales Price was up 35% to $984,597.


Current inventory is still high in relation to the number of homes being absorbed by the current buyers.


For more information please contact Audrey & Frank Serio, CRS at REMAX By The Sea in Bethany Beach Delaware serving the Delaware beaches of Bethany and Fenwick Island for over 25 years.