The York County housing market took a slight hit in July.
Last month, 410 homes were sold — a 1 percent decrease from the 415 homes sold in July 2013, according to statistics released Monday by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.
The median sales price also dropped 1 percent to $154,900, compared to $160,000 during the same month a year ago.
"In July, I think a lot of people were more focused on vacation than selling their house," said Paula Musselman, association president.
John LeCates, a Realtor and past president of the association, agreed.
"July is always slower because of vacations," he said.
But both he and Musselman are expecting a strong end to summer and a good fall.
"I've been busy writing offers. I'm hoping to see higher sales," she said.
This year: Throughout the first seven months of the year, sales have been flat, according to statistics.
From Jan. 1 through July 31, 2,466 homes were sold in York County — a 1 percent increase from the 2,443 sold during the same time period in 2013.
During those seven months, the median sales prices increased 1 percent from $144,000 last year to $145,000 this year.
So far this year, the most homes have been sold in the Dallastown Area School District. Some 260 homes were sold there from January through July, which is unchanged from the previous year.
The median sale price there was $158,750, a 7 percent increase compared to $148,400 last year.
York City: But the brightest spot in the local housing market might be in York City, Musselman said.
From Jan. 1 through July 31, 188 homes sold there — a 1 percent increase from the 186 sales during the same time period last year.
The median sale price increased 34 percent, from $28,640 last year to $38,450 this year.
"Prices are up in York City, and that's always a good thing. We like to see that. Our city is bouncing back," Musselman said.
Trends in York County are in line with patterns observed across the country.
Nationally: According to the most recent statistics released by the National Association of Realtors, home sales slowed in June.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a measurement based on contract signings, decreased 1 percent from May to June and 7 percent from June 2013 to June this year.
The U.S. housing market is stabilizing, but it's not without its challenges, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
"Supply shortages still exist in parts of the country, wages are flat and tight credit conditions are deterring a higher number of potential buyers from fully taking advantage of lower interest rates," he said.
While Yun predicts home sales to be down 3 percent this year, he agrees with Musselman and LeCates that there will be a slight uptick in sales during the second half of the year.
"The good news is that price appreciation has decreased to its slowest pace since March 2012," Yun said. "With rents rising 4 percent annually, potential buyers are less likely to experience sticker shock and can make smart decisions on whether or not it makes sense to buy or continue renting."
— Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.