Current Sussex numbers for COVID, census and real estate

May 7, 2021

Sometimes it’s just fun to cut through the words and look at the numbers.

Data from the 2020 10-year census is starting to trickle in. Looks like the Sussex County population currently stands at about 240,000. That’s up about 19 percent from the 197,103 Sussex residents counted in April 2010.

The Delaware population total as of 2020 stands at 989,948 compared to 897,934 in 2010, a 10 percent increase. But that's still not enough to get us another seat in Congress. We still have two senators and one member of the House of Representatives. That’s the same number we’ve had since Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution back in 1787. Two U.S. senators was a great deal back then and continues to be a great deal now.

One notable but as yet unexplained statistic statewide and nationally: The 2010 census counted 2,943 Delawareans living overseas. In the 2020 census, that Delaware number dropped to 889. That’s consistent with the national trend which found 350,686 U.S. citizens living overseas compared to 1,042,523 in 2010. Blame it on corona, for lack of anything more plausible.

The U.S. population currently stands at 334,735,874. That’s up 7.4 percent from 2010’s total population count of 308,700,000.

The hot real estate market

Most everyone knows we’re in the midst of one of the hottest real estate markets ever seen. While the number of help wanted signs continues to grow, the total number of active listings in Sussex County continues to decline.

Andrew Ratner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty compiles and distributes a monthly analysis of total listings and sales. He found that as of the end of March this year, there were 646 single-family homes listed for sale in Sussex. Of those, he said, 54 percent were new-construction homes. Of the 505 new listings in March, he said 74 percent of them were under contract by the month’s end.

“The inventory of homes for sale is the lowest now that it’s been in recent memory,” he said this week. But, he said, total number of sales is still holding up. “Stuff is moving. They’re all selling. Sales are holding their own.”

His statistics show that in the first three months of 2021, pending sales were up 22 percent over the same time period in 2020. Not surprisingly, the average number of days on the market for listed homes has declined by 36 percent compared to the previous year.

Coronavirus gets the final word

Recent cases, hospitalizations and state-imposed restrictions related to COVID-19 in Sussex continue to decline as vaccination numbers continue to rise. Sussex County leads Delaware in terms of total number of people vaccinated with at least one shot at this time. State statistics show that 55 percent of Sussex Countians are vaccinated. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that more than a year into this pandemic, 25,319 Sussex Countians have contracted the virus. Of those, 483 have died. Statewide, total cases have now reached more than 105,000 with 1,626 reported deaths.

As it often is in this small state of Delaware, most of us know many of them.

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