The latest report on median home prices from the Montgomery County Planning Commission might have Jenkintown homeowners calling their local realtor. The report claims that the 2018 median price for a house in Jenkintown skyrocketed 41.3% over the previous year.
Abington saw a 4.7% increase and Cheltenham nudged up by a paltry 0.8%.
Should Jenkintonians get out while the getting is good? Andrew Smith of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach tosses cold water on the report. “Never put stock in these numbers as the base is just too small,” he advises.
In Andrew’s January 2017 newsletter he sent out to prospective buyers and sellers, he described the conundrum this way:
…averages can be very misleading. In 2015 we only had 2 homes sell that were over 3,000 sq. ft. while last year 13 of our grand homes sold. As larger homes generally sell for more than smaller homes – that largely explains why our average home sale price increased by more than 40% last year – from $239,152 in 2015 to $334,849 last year. Prices definitely improved last year but a much better measure for our borough would be the average selling price per sq. ft. which climbed from $131.22 in 2015 to $141.30 in 2016. That was a very healthy increase of 7.6%.
He also cites condo sales, which in Jenkintown accounts for a higher percentage of sales than Abington or Cheltenham.
Every year there are almost the same number of condos sold in Beaver Hill as there are homes sold in the borough. Last year 43 homes sold. Those sales totaled $14,398,525 which averages $334,849 per sale. We also had 37 condos sell in Beaver Hill. Those sales totaled $3,219,549 which averages $87,015 per sale.
Jenkintown’s sample is indeed small. The report drew its average from only 85 sales of 1,796 units compared to Abington’s 766 out of 22,650.
Still, the report shows that prices are generally nudging upward for our area. How does Andrew assess the situation?
“I would say that it has definitely been leaning towards being a sellers market.”