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2021 Real Estate Year in Review

With housing demand high, fluctuating material pricing, labor shortages, low rates, and low supply, 2021 certainly had its unique challenges. Fortunately for Bayside, limited inventory allowed 55 new contracts to be written, equaling an average price of $723,326. Harbor’s Edge (villas by K Hovnanian) and North Haven (single family by Schell brothers) sold out in 2021 after opening sales only one year prior. Finishing up sales in March, North Haven had 12 net sales in 2021 with an average contract price of $1,089,066 (22% increase year over year (YOY)). The Catalina model was the top selling model in North Haven. Additional trends for North Haven in 2021 include the top state for buyers was Maryland, top source was realtor, and the majority of buyers classified their home as a second home. Harbor’s Edge finished sales in September and had 43 sales with an average contract price of $663,746 (41% increase YOY). In 2021, Harbor’s Edge primary buyer was from Maryland, top source was realtor, and the majority of buyers classified their home as a second home. In 2021, Bayside welcomed 140 new homes (180% increase YOY) and 94 resales. Almost 20% of those resales were from homeowners who are staying in the community. Bayside came in below the average days on market for Sussex County and resale inventory began to show more seasonal trends that was shown prior to 2020.

Sales also wrapped at Tidewater Landing in May with 13 sales averaging $708,134 per contract (10% price increase YOY). In 2021, the top model sold was the Catalina, top source was from realtors and the state with the most buyers was Delaware. Tidewater Landing had 43 new homes settle and for the first time had 4 resales. Tidewater Landing’s average days on market is also below Sussex County’s average.

Entering the mix is Carl M. Freeman’s brand-new community Tower Hill. Sales opened in Lewes in October and by year end, 5 homesites were sold with an average contract price of $829,920. Top model was Killarney, top source was realtor, top state of buyer was PA and the majority are buying for their home to be their primary residence.

Coming off a hot 2020, demand in Sussex County remained strong in 2021. According to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty, 5,034 single family homes sold in Sussex County in 2021, a 2% increase YOY. The average price of a single-family home was $525,000, a 12% increase YOY and the median price was $400,000, a 14% increase YOY. Sussex County’s days on market has been declining for a few years but 2021 increased the rate of decline. Average days on market was 39 days at the end of December, calculated as a 50% decrease year over year. 30-year rates remained low in 2021 with rates ending at 3.11%. Sussex County homes on the market account for less than 2 months of supply at the current sales pace. 585 homes were on the market at the end of December with 49% being new construction. This is a 29% decrease in homes on the market YOY. Currently, there are 10 months of supply for vacant developed lots which is considered low inventory, but more lots are expected to come into inventory in Q1 2022. The area with the largest sales increase YOY was the Angola, Long Neck and Millsboro area. To sum, demand remains strong and prices have continued to rise through 2021. This is in part because of high demand, low rates, and low supply.