Dave Marcolla puts his all into his passions. After moving to real estate in 2018 from a longtime career in sales, marketing and financial services, the licensed Realtor, associate broker for Pennsylvania and New Jersey and principal of The Dave Marcolla Group was named a top producer at Keller Williams Newtown three consecutive years. Who better to share expectations for the year ahead?
How have you navigated a rollercoaster market?
Last year, my team and I sold or leased 60-plus homes. This year, that number will be less, as we have one fewer team member, and the market shifted dramatically mid-year.
With real estate, you have to ride the ups and downs, and work harder to generate more business when the market’s down. For me, being successful is doing just that, while loving what you do, which is helping people achieve their dreams.
For a while, home prices were at an all-time high, now they’re dropping. Any predictions?
In our region, from the end of 2019 through mid-2022, home values went up 38%. In a normal period, that would have been about 8%. That additional 30% came from record low-interest rates and a pandemic that allowed people to live almost anywhere for the first time ever. Add this to a pre-existing sellers’ market driven by little inventory, and you get the perfect storm. That storm is now calming, driven by increased mortgage rates from inflation.
Home values haven’t declined, though. In fact, 2022 alone will likely show a 10% year-over-year increase. With a normal year about 3%, home values are still ahead of where they were before 2020. Mortgage rates will likely stabilize with no additional increases in the first half of 2023 and slowly return to a new normal of around 5% -- well below the 20-year average. With low inventory, we’ll see a strong 2023, similar to 2022.
Is it true more people are buying
Yes. When inventory is low, new construction is essential. After two years of limited construction from the pandemic, builders are trying to catch up and capture that demand. New construction is the only way to design every aspect of your home versus purchasing someone else’s. If purchasing new, remember the value of land and materials is up from multiple factors, so overall costs to build a new home will continue to be higher than expected.
Do you foresee the trend toward
low-maintenance living continuing?
Yes. With the pandemic and more remote work opportunities, homeowners can choose where and how they want to live. Tiny homes, greater mobility and renting will continue for the near future, likely becoming the norm. Plus, Baby-Boomers are no longer the driving force for buyer sentiment. Now, it’s Gen Z.
Investing in real estate and renting versus owning are other trends. With low levels of inventory for purchase and increased demand for mobility, renting is gaining in popularity. With this increase in demand, comes higher rent, so it’s a good time to invest.
Regarding home décor trends, beiges appear to be coming back.
The softer, earthier tones are back, and gray is returning to its more modern, cooler collection. In addition to warm earthy tones, expect darker primary colors like navy, dark greens and reds. Accents will likely continue with brass and gold tones for fixtures.
Home offices became popular during the pandemic, and multigenerational living has become more prevalent. Do you foresee this continuing?
Yes to both. Home offices are here to stay. I’m even finding buyers seeking an extra bedroom to serve as a second home office.
As for in-law suites, Americans are living longer. That means taking care of one or both parents, often an unplanned-for expense. If there are kids at home, Mom, Dad or both can live there in their own space, help with the kids and possibly with the mortgage. This has long been the norm in other countries, so I don’t see it going away.
What are your current community leadership roles?
Over the past five years, I’ve devoted more of my time to two organizations. I’m chair of the board of directors of the Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia, which covers the five-county Philadelphia region and parts of Mercer County. The organization provides social and emotional support to anyone touched by cancer at any age or stage at no charge. Each year, we raise about $1 million from grants, donations and fundraisers. 2023 will be our 30th year.
I’m also president of the Newtown Business Association, which has served nearly 300 member-businesses for 70 years. In addition to member-business engagement and monthly events are the annual Newtown holiday parade, car show, business expo, job fair and Newtown Welcome Day.