By Terry Rogers
Wes Cromer of Masten Realty says that Milford’s real estate outlook for 2017 looks promising, with the new Bayhealth Health Campus helping grow the market in both sales and rentals. He said that he has already seen some speculative buyers purchasing in the South Milford area as well as doctors and nurses purchasing near the new campus.
“I don’t know much about the low-income housing market, but I do know that Milford has a shortage of higher end or endevors, what real estate agents call market rate rentals,” Mr. Cromer said. “The demand is very high for these and the supply is very low in the Milford area. As far of total sales volume, 2016 was the best year we have had since 2005 when I started. Prices are slowly increasing and inventory is still low. I think because of the inventory shortage, it is now more of a sellers market, but that still varies from price range to price range.”
Interest rates have risen slightly since the election in November and Mr. Cromer says he thinks that trend will continue, although the rise was due to the surge in the stock market. Mr. Cromer said that interest rates are directly reflected by 10-year bonds and when the stock market rises significantly, people pull money from the safe bond market to invest, triggering a jump in interest rates.
New home construction and sales will probably continue to grow in the Milford area, Mr. Cromer said. There are several new developments and lots available in the area. “Builders are moving into Milford because of all the buzz of the happenings around town,” Mr. Cromer said. “Values are still rising, but at a nice, slow steady pace. I think that because the new construction homes have increased a bit more rapidly, that the smaller, under $200,000 homes are seeing a benefit. They are not directly competing with new construction any longer and have seen an increase in value because of that.”
The commercial market is moving slower than the residential market, Mr. Cromer said. Although vacancies are low in established strip shopping centers, which is a positive sign, businesses looking to purchase land and build new commercial space is slow. Mr. Cromer expects that to change over the next several years with the construction of the new Bayhealth Health Campus and the opening of the new DE Turf sports complex north of Milford. Another factor that will drive commercial business growth in Milford is the recent Downtown Development District designated by Governor Jack Markell in August 2016.
“The DDD has already increased demand for commercial property in Milford and had a positive effect,” Mr. Cromer said. “Projects like the Pikus Building have directly benefited from the designation. This is a great program for our downtown revitalization.”
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.