An Expert Guide To The Pennsylvania Residential Real Estate Market

Terese Brittingham and Tom McCouch

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Terese Brittingham’s devotion to clientele and the industry has not gone unnoticed. Since the opening of Keller Williams Realty Group in 2002, Brittingham has worked through a multitude of home transactions, making her one of the top real estate agents in the country. Brittingham, along with partner Tom McCouch, has been voted one of America’s most referred realtors, with more than 920 transactions closed and $200 million worth of sales. Haute Residence caught up with the top agent to discuss the latest real estate market trends in her region and what her advice to buyers interested in investing would be — “Run, don’t walk.” she exclaimed. 

It’s the 4th quarter of the year, have you noticed a change in the market in terms of what buyers and sellers are looking for and requiring?

It’s hard to believe we are in the 4th quarter, the mad dash has begun! Buyers are looking to find a property that suits their lifestyle and pocketbook before interest rates rise. The lack of inventory remains the one hurdle! Urgency is key and they need a real estate agent that will have them ready to purchase and one who will scour the market to find a fit for them. Communication from an agent still remains paramount in what a buyer is looking for from them.  

What makes your market so special? Why are people looking to relocate there?

The Philadelphia Region is bustling with growth, industry, healthcare and tons of history and the Philadelphia suburbs offer great schools and easy access to the city. Our region really offers something for all types of lifestyles. We are still seeing strong sales and it’s still a seller’s market. We are seeing a slight shift, especially in the luxury market. However, we have not been hit as hard as many regions, making this area still a great place to invest in real estate.

Has the type of buyer changed at all within your area? What are buyers looking for now in properties that they maybe weren’t looking for or knew to ask for before?

Yes and No. Our area has always been supportive of all price ranges so our buyer pool is very diverse. We service the starter home market up to the luxury home market. We have many buyers with many different requirements. The senior luxury market has grown and is very active, first time home buyers and millennials are now opting out of the condo scene and searching for single family homes.  Buyers are ultimately looking for convenience. Larger lots are not as popular as they once were. The over 55 communities are doing very well and offer ease of living. Carriage homes have taken off and the $400-$700,000 market has grown from what it once was. Easy access to top pharmaceutical companies, some of the country’s best hospitals along with job stability, stable income and housing affordability make this a great region to explore. 

Where do you see the real estate market trends heading in the next 5 years, nationally as well as in your respective market?

Nationally, I see a shift coming. I do not believe it will be as harsh as the last downturn. Recovery will be swift out of the shift. Regionally, I would expect values to reduce by 10-15% and then rebound to a real value of 5-8% off today’s current value. We are living in a seller’s market and prices are artificially inflated due to the lack of inventory.

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