More home buyers are deciding York City is a good place to live.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the downtown housing market showed positive gains.

In 2013 the number of homes sold in the city increased 25 percent, climbing from 254 sales a year earlier to 317 by the end of last month, according to statistics released Friday by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.

However, the median sale price decreased 14 percent year to year--from $35,000 to $30,161 -- but it ended the year strong.

Last month the median sale price for a home in York City was $32,000 -- a 35 percent increase compared to $23,777 in December 2012.

The York City housing market hadn't had a year-to-year increase in the last seven years or more. Statistics available on the RAYAC website start in 2007. Each year since then, the downtown housing market has posted losses.

There's still plenty of room for improvement. Seven years ago there an average of 700 homes were sold every year in the city, but the downtown market is slowly rebounding from recession lows.

RAYAC President Paula Musselman said local Realtors are "very pleased" with York City results.

"It's very good for York City, and it's very good for the buyers," she said.

Redevelopment and successful promotion of the city by Downtown Inc has helped sell more homes in the city, Musselman said.

"We're seeing more people who want to get back to the city life. They like walking to Central Market, the theater, Revolution games. We're hearing people say they like that urban feeling," she said.

Not only is the local housing market improving in the city, sales are picking up in other parts of York County.

The Realtors Association reported 4,399 homes were sold last year -- a 14 percent increase from the 3,848 homes sold in 2012.

The median sale price remained stable in 2013 at $145,000 -- a 3 percent gain from the $141,107 average price tag a year earlier.

Throughout the year, 478 homes were sold in the Central York School District, marking the highest number of sales in any district in the county.

The median sale price there slid 4 percent from $156,500 to $150,000.

"Overall it was a good year for the York County housing market," Musselman said. "As consumers gain confidence, we're excited and expecting more great results this year."

--Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.