Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Are Lancaster County PA Home Mortgages Harder to Get These Days?

Are Lancaster County PA Home Mortgages Harder to Get These Days?

Are Lancaster County PA Home Mortgages harder to get these days?  If so, it's not because the Lancaster County housing market is slower than other areas of the country - in fact, Lancaster County is up 30% over last year for real estate sales

See the press release below published by the Lancaster County Association of Realtors:

Local Home Sales Continue to Rebound      August 2009 pending home sales up 30 percent

Lancaster, PA (September 22, 2009)-Lancaster County's real estate market continues to show signs of recovery, according to a recent report released by the Lancaster County Association of Realtors®  (LCAR). In August 2009, pending home sales were up 30 percent over August 2008 with most price ranges seeing double- digit growth in pending sales.

The $100,000 to $200,000 price range has proven to be 2009's strongest performing market with pending home sales up 45 percent in August 2009 versus August 2008. Growth in other price ranges is an indication that the first-time homebuyer tax credit has had a "trickle up" effect that has reenergized the real estate market as a whole, LCAR members say. In August 2009, pending home sales were up in the $0 to $100,000 price range (26.5 percent), $200,000 to $300,000 price range (13.7 percent) and $400,000+ price range (36.4 percent) over August 2008.

"We've seen a tremendous number of first-time buyers realize the dream of owning their first home. We're also seeing buyers and sellers in general regain confidence and move ahead with their homeownership goals," commented Scott Ulrich, president of LCAR.

A September 2009 article in BusinessWeek magazine recognizing Lancaster as the 19th strongest housingmarket in the U.S. further affirms that the local real estate market is fundamentally sound. With mortgage rates continuing to hold steady at historically-low rates, ample inventory available at all price ranges and a seeming boost in consumer confidence, LCAR looks for sustained market improvement.

As I discussed in Lancaster PA mortgage rate analysis, government overspending and overborrowing is robbing the credit markets of private money that could have been lent to private investors who would have restarted the recovery.

 

Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/

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Comment balloon 9 commentsBrian Schulman • October 15 2009 07:12PM

Comments

Thanks for providing us another great blog post. Keep up the great work

Posted by Eric Villaverde (DoubleTree Home Inspection Services L.L.C.) over 8 years ago

Sounds like things are picking up nicely in your market!  Thanks for the market update.

Posted by Ellen Crawford, Alpharetta Real Estate Agents & Alpharetta REALTOR (RE/MAX Paramount Properties) over 8 years ago

Eric, thanks for stopping by!

Ellen, Lancaster County's market is definitely improving - but the time required to get a mortgage approved has increased to at least 45 days for many loans, just like the rest of the country. 

This is at least partly due to the fact that lenders have less money to loancaused in large part by the huge government expenditures which suck money away from the private sector.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 8 years ago

Brian - I've read and seen a lot about the market in your area being a lot healthier than others across the country.  While 45 day Sales Contracts seem to be the norm (or safe bet) these days, if the front end is done properly and competently, I don't see why that can't go back to the more common ground of 30 days.  I suppose it is in part due to having less money to loan (as you mentioned in your comment to Ellen) and in part to long turn-times in Underwriting, lender overlays and this whole HVCC deal with appraisals.  Hmmm, I should of gone into shoveling cow dung for $8.00 an hour:)

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 8 years ago

Hi Jason,

You're certainly correct in that, done correctly at the front end, loans can close in 30 days.  However, you can't count on it any more.  Underwriters are coming back with extra document requirements, and some loans, like USDA, in our area have recently added 10 to 14 days onto processing, after underwriting has already been approved.

Plus, as you mentioned, the new HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) rules for appraisers add complications and delays to the mortgage approval process.  Thanks, Government!  Perhaps some of these regulators should be the ones shoveling cow dung (or perhaps, some would say, they already are...)

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 8 years ago

Hi Brian,

It's wonderful to read that your market has risen so greatly.....

It's tougher to get approved for a mortgage here in Ontario now too, although not quite as stringent as it has become there. I believe that's because our systems here have always had stricter guidelines for approvals, even before the meltdown of the past few years.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Hi Jo,

In a similar vein to your observation on the Ontario mortgage situation, part of the reason that Lancaster County real estate sales had not gone down as much as those of some areas is that our prices were more reasonable than many other regions to begin with.  Therefore, since our prices and mortgages didn't go nuts to begin with, it's somewhat easier to recover, although certainly not to the peak levels of 2006 or 2007.

Brian

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 8 years ago

Sounds liske you market is doing OK. Mortgage approval is tough but it can be managed.

Posted by Scott Guay, Associate Broker. Ocean City and Ocean Pines MD (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty) over 8 years ago

Scott, that's about the size of it.  Our market is doing ok.  Mortgage approval causes delays, which can make settlements somewhat unsettling (pun intended, lol...)

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 8 years ago

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