Sales in York County increased from 693 in the first quarter of 2011 to 759 in the first three months of this year. Adams County sales increased from 123 to 130 over the same time period, according to the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.
“We're not ready to say it's a trend,” said LeCates, association president and an agent with Morgan-Collins Inc.
The increase comes ahead of the peak home-buying season that traditionally runs now through about mid-July.
“We're remaining optimistic,” LeCates said.
Prices steady: Although sales increased, median sale prices dropped slightly — but they are holding steady compared to previous years.
The median sale price in York County fell $400 from $132,900 in the first quarter of 2011 to $132,500 in the same period this year. That is a 0.3 percent decrease. In Adams County, the median sale price dropped 1 percent from $151,990 in 2011 to $149,995 this year.
The median sale price factors in only the homes that were sold.
“It's (the median price) actually flat,” LeCates said. “It's the first time that it's been flat in about the last two years.”
Since 2007, the median sale price in York County dropped steadily from its all-time peak of $174,900 that year. In Adams County, the peak median sale price of $215,000 also came in 2007 and has decreased since then.
In York City School District, the median sale price dropped from $37,000 in the first three months of 2011 to $29,000 in the same time period this year, a 22 percent decrease.
While lower prices normally spur increased sales, that wasn't the case in the city. Sales fell 32 percent from 85 in the first quarter of 2011 to 58 in the first quarter of this year.
LeCates blamed high taxes for keeping people from buying homes in the city.
“The taxes are just killing everybody,” he said. “We need to figure out how to bring people back into the city who will be owner-occupiers of homes.”
— Reach Greg Gross at 505-5434, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/greggrss.
March home sales figures
York County saw a 3 percent decrease in home sales in March compared to the same month last year.
Figures released by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties on Tuesday show 272 homes were sold in York County in March compared to 281 sold in March 2011.
Adams County home sales jumped 19 percent over the same time period. Fifty-seven homes were sold in Adams County in March, while 48 were sold there in March 2011, according to the figures.
The median sale prices in the two counties increased equally by 3 percent.
In York County, the March 2011 median sale price was $131,200 compared to $135,450 this March. In Adams County, the median sale price increased from $150,475 in March 2011 to $155,000 this March.