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Wilmington Real Estate Market Report

Wilmington waterfront at night
Wilmington, Delaware waterfront at night

Wilmington, Delaware is a city of just 70,000, yet it remains the largest city in the state of Delaware. While the population within the city limits doesn’t make Wilmington a big city, it is part of the larger Delaware Valley metro area, which is home around 6 million people. Wilmington sits at the north end of Delaware between the Christina River and Brandywine Creek. Thanks to a smallish population, real estate in Wilmington is not always easy to find for sale in a specific area that a buyer is looking for. However, there are typically affordable housing options thanks to reasonable market prices that keep owning a home possible for many different buyers.

Delaware as a state is known for being business-friendly, welcoming industry within its borders without the tax levels that deter businesses from working in other states. For this reason, Wilmington is seen as a great location to house a company because it lies within Delaware yet is easily accessed from other areas just as Philadelphia and New Jersey. Wilmington has become a headquarters for many credit card processors, including the likes of Chase, Bank of America, and Barclays Bank of Delaware. Beyond banking, insurance, legal services and more make their home in the city.

Affordable housing is not as hard to locate in Wilmington as it can be in other parts of the country. In fact, there are many neighborhoods around the city where the average home listing price comes in under $200,000. Among those includes Trinity Vicinity, Baynard Village, The Flats, Hedgeville, Northwest, and Hilltop. At the same time, there are some more affluent parts of Wilmington that will require a more significant investment in order to purchase a home. Wawaset Park, the Highlands, Westmoreland, Brandywine Hills, and Bancroft Parkway all have an average listing price of more than $300,000. The more expensive neighborhoods tend to be found north of the downtown Wilmington, while the more affordable areas are to the south and west of the city itself.

Reflection pools at Winterthur Mansion in Wilmington, Delaware
Reflection pools at Winterthur Mansion
in Wilmington, Delaware

There are two races which make up most of the 70,000 resident population in Wilmington. African Americans account for 58% of the citizens, and Whites make up another 32%. There is a Latino population of over 12%, with the remainder divided between Native American, Asian, and Pacific Islander. The median age in Wilmington is 34.3 years, which is about average across the country and indicative of a working class city. Median household income is just under $33,000, or about $10,000 below the national average. Women significantly outnumber men in Wilmington, with about 13% more adults being female as opposed to male.

Housing in Wilmington is a mix of single family homes and apartment buildings. Among properties that are owned by their occupants, an amazing total of 95% are single family homes, the majority of which are 1,400 square feet or less. It is almost a perfect 50/50 split between renters and owners in Wilmington, which is common among more urban environments. Also common on the East Coast is the age of the houses. Less than 20% of the homes in Wilmington are built within the last 50 years, with a quarter of the homes actually having been built before 1900.

The prices of Wilmington homes has been steadily on the rise during 2013, posting a 3% increase over the same point in 2012. The median sales price is an even $200,000, with the average listing price sitting at $258,000. The number of real estate sales in Wilmington has slowed slightly, down 8% from 2012. As long as there is a limited inventory of homes for buyers to choose from, the prices are likely to continue their steady increase as the year closes out. However, the last few months has seen more sellers enter the market, so there may be an indication that the number of homes for sale will rise and possibly lead to a leveling off of the market prices.

For outdoor activity, the city of Wilmington offers 55 parks and rec facilities located all-around the city. The Brandywine Zoo is a popular family destination, and is part of the Delaware State Park system. Nearby Philadelphia offers all of the bigger-city entertainment such as professional sports, concerts, plays, dining, and more. There is one minor league baseball team located in Wilmington, which plays from May through August.

For those already living in Wilmington, or moving into town for a job opportunity, housing is affordable if not a little bit limited in market size. Buyers should be able to find something in the exact neighborhood they desire if they are willing to be a little bit patient and watch for properties to come on the market. However, since Wilmington, DE is not a huge city, living a few extra miles from a job is not usually a deal breaker when it comes to purchasing real estate. As prices are beginning to rise, now looks like a great time to evaluate the options on the Wilmington market and find the home that meet every need.

Are You Having a Tough Time:

  • Finding competent Realtors that know the Wilmington market?
  • Getting your home ready for sale?
  • Deciding where to buy a house or how much house you can afford?
  • Finding a real estate agent that knows the Wilmington market inside and out?
  • Determining if a real estate agent is really any good, and if they're honest and trustworthy?
  • You need to meet the AgentHarvest® Elite™ Rated Agents we hand-picked and recommend in the Wilmington Area.

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