Real Estate Outlook for 2020


by Terry Rogers

Joanne Milton, Broker Manager for Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, is looking at the new decade with great optimism and that, in 2019, the local real estate activity and values have been greatly influenced with the opening of the new Bayhealth Sussex Campus.

“Not only did that increase the demand for homes for medical staff at various levels relocating to Milford, but also made us very attractive to those looking to retire in an area that offers all the medical services they need as they mature,” Milton said. “Another exciting chapter will be the transformation of Milford Memorial into the next community-focused venue and all those coming her in support of that operation.”

Milton explained that, with growth, also comes business that supports a larger population. Realtors have seen new businesses choose Milford over other cities and she foresees even more businesses coming to the area.

“Our convenient, central location makes us an easy choice, drawing patrons from all directions,” Milton said. “The City of Milford has some of the highest numbers ever of building permit applications which predicts continuing development. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford is hosting an Economic Development Task Force whose purpose is to define the needs, then create and implement accessible platform to host all the necessary resources small business may need, from idea to execution and beyond.”

Another factor measuring the real estate market in Milford for 2020 is supply, Milton explained. The current residential inventory is just less than four months’ supply if no more homes are built and those on the market are sold. The inventory is expected to grow as builders ramp up their production in the spring, according to Milton, but so will those moving into the area. Real estate agents have seen the demand outpacing the inventory for several years now which is driving prices higher.

“Home sales this time of year, due to the holidays and weather, normally cause buyer traffic to wane, but not this year,” Milton said. “Buyers are coming and homes, priced right, are selling very quickly. This heightened activity has also spurred owners who may have been on the fence about selling their homes to list. There is no reason to wait and we are often seeing multiple offers resulting in greater than expected outcomes.”

According to Milton, home values in the 19963 zip code rose an average of 6 percent in 2019 over 2018 which made it an opportune time for sellers to reap the best home sale proceeds since the mid-2000s. On the other side of the table, buyers were still able to benefit from the low interest rates of between 3 and 4.5 percent which have been available for much longer than the industry expected.

“2020 should provide the same or better returns,” Milton said. “With Milford growing in both residents and businesses, the sense of community is also growing. Our schools are well-equipped, up-to-date, diverse and forward-thinking. Milford remains to be home to generations of Milford High School graduates. We have become an entertainment destination with events drawing sizable crowds to outside concerts, festivals, 5ks to run, walk or bike, service clubs offering many volunteer opportunities, restaurants with a variety of food and drink as well as a great artisan community offering vast mediums to study or explore. Milford remains an attractive community with something and somewhere for everyone. I’m happy to be instrumental in making it home for as many as possible.”