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Beach sales buoy Sussex realty market

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The Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) reported more than $1 billion in real estate has changed hands in the first 10 months of 2015, buoyed by strong sales in the area’s coastal communities.

SCAOR said more than 4,000 properties have changed hands in Sussex County across all real- estate categories. As always, the strongest is single-family homes.

Single-family home sales for the months of July, August and September are fractionally lower from the same period in 2014, with 1,044 properties being sold during the quarter. This brings the yearly number of residential property sales to 3,521, or more than $1 billion in year-to-date sales.

The average home in Sussex County in 2015 is selling for nearly $351,000, also fractionally lower from the same period a year ago. Single-family residential homes continue to show the most robust sales, with 2,417 homes from this sector selling in 2015, accounting for 60 percent of all properties. Additionally, 750 condominiums and townhouses and 354 mobile homes changed hands, accounting for a combined $251 million in sales.

“More people coming to the area are now content with living a short drive away from the beach, so areas like Millsboro and Selbyville and even Bridgeville are seeing strong numbers in recent years,” said Fred Dean, president of SCAOR.

Commercial sales totaled more than $26 million, an increase over 2014.

“While growth has definitely slowed over the last few quarters, what we’re seeing right now is a leveling out of our real estate market here in Sussex County, leading to more stability and more core strength,” Dean said. “This is the kind of market we want to see, with stable sales and stable home prices that can be sustained, not like the ‘runaway train’ that we witnessed in 2006 and 2007.”

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