What effect has COVID-19 had on Main Line real estate values? Today’s current market uptick can be easily attributed to pent-up demand combined with very little inventory and low interest rates.
However, a very different dynamic in Gladwyne luxury real estate has caused a significant increase in median sales price, and decrease in days on market.
The effects of COVID-19 luxury buyer demands for large, flexible homes with privacy and pools has literally flipped the Gladwyne luxury market.
Local news and statistical reports haven’t really told the story of what’s happening in Gladwyne luxury real estate. As always with statistics, results vary depending on what you’re looking at and how you’re analyzing data.
Maybe it’s the times, but conflicting reports on the coronavirus, the election, the economy and also real estate can be a bit much!
Quantum physics of market data
Reviewing statistics reminds me of the metaphysical, quantum physics concept that reality changes when observed. Or that one’s observation can change reality.
Especially in the luxury real estate market where one or two large sales in a small community skew results.
However, recent trends in Gladwyne are consistent and dramatic. Enough esoteric wanderings, let’s get to some understandable facts!
Gladwyne Luxury Real Estate
There are really 3 different market segments within any local area that includes luxury real estate; under $1M, $1M to $2.5M and above $2.5M. For this report, we are looking specifically at the $1M+ residential market.
Looking at the $1M+ and especially the $2.5M+ market in Gladwyne, a dramatic shift has happened.
As recently as 6 months ago, walkable locations on the Main Line, such as Wayne, Lower Merion, and Bryn Mawr were preferred by luxury buyers over large Gladwyne estate homes. Maintenance of pools, large 6+ bedroom homes with acreage that require ongoing maintenance were often deal killers. Buyers wanted easy access to transportation and shopping.
Gladwyne has become a desired location for newly mobile executives. The impact of migration from Manhattan to the Main Line along with demand from other areas such as Washington, DC has ignited Gladwyne luxury market values.
Buyers want expansive, flexible space, pools and tennis courts on a gracious private lot. A home that can function for the entire family, work from home and offers resort-style amenities.
Now the qualities that were seen as negative are competitive “must haves” for today’s buyers.
Let’s review the numbers. There’s clearly a dramatic increase in market values as detailed in this month’s Gladwyne Luxury Report:
As noted above, depending on how you analyze statistics, you might miss this story!
If you look at “absorption rates” the Gladwyne luxury inventory has been running at a 5-6 months which normally indicates a balanced market. That doesn’t reflect the hot luxury buyer activity going on right now, or the clear increase in median sales prices.
Greater Philadelphia Area Statistics
No one analyzes local data better than Drexel University economist Kevin Gillan. However as an example of how confusing statistics can be, a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article sourced Gillan :
“While home prices rose in Philadelphia in the second quarter of the year, prices of homes in the suburbs dipped.”
The “suburbs” includes several counties, and many communities. Again, it depends on what data you’re analyzing. Statistics really are only meaningful when looking at micro-market trends – what’s exactly happening in your local market.
The Bryn Mawr market snapshot below shows an example of the upward trends in Montgomery County:
Contrary to Gillan’s analysis, Rittenhouse Square results from the exact same set of data shows a decline in median sales prices:
For insights into market trends in your area, contact Susanna for a private confidential consultation.
Dive deep into data detailed below, and please share your insights in the comments. Be sure to subscribe to receive future blog posts.
Detailed Market Reports
All data used by Gillan and in the reports above come from the same source, our local Bright MLS.