Local home sales increased a pinch in May, but buyers paid less.
Last month, 381 homes were sold in York County, compared to 378 in May 2013, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.
That 1 percent increase comes after a 16 percent increase in April, when home sales seemed to rebound after a slow winter.
The median sale price was also less than expected in May at $136,500 — a 7 percent decrease from the $147,500 sale price logged during the same month a year ago.
But the main issue in the local housing market is low inventory, said Paula Musselman, president of the Realtors Association.
"We need more sellers to put their homes on the market," she said.
The local market needs more supply to meet the pent-up demand, Realtors said.
More homes would move if they weren't priced above market value or had the updates buyers were expecting. Sometimes it just takes a little mulch and neutral paint, Musselman said.
"Buyers are very discriminating. They want a lot for their dollar," she said.
Musselman expects strong results this month.
"The buyers are still there and interest rates are still fantastic. We hope to see inventory grow now that school's out," she said.
The local housing market is still rebounding from the recession and feels better than what the statistics suggest, said John LeCates, a Realtory and past president of RAYAC.
"I never expected a recovery to happen overnight, but there are still some issues in York County. There's still a wage problem. The average wage here isn't enough to buy the average house," he said.
The median sale price is slightly up throughout the first five months of the year. From Jan. 1 through May 31, the median sale price increased 1 percent to $140,000, compared to $139,000 during the same period last year.
Home sales during the five-month period increased to 1,592. That's a 2 percent uptick from the 1,558 sold during the first five months last year.
The most sales were in the Dallastown Area School District, where buyers purchased 167 homes. That's still one less than the 168 sold there from January through May in 2013.
—Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.