Realtors demand Wolf reopen housing market

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
A sign advertises a house for sale in Glen Rock Borough Monday, April 13, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Real estate should be deemed an essential industry, said Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties President Sue Pindle, responding to data that shows York County's once hot housing market has all but stalled amid the coronavirus shutdown. 

Pindle contends Gov. Tom Wolf's orders shuttering nonessential businesses and mandating social distancing are the cause of the sudden downturn in York County's housing market. 

"Gov. Wolf needs to immediately re-open real estate on a statewide basis," Pindle said in a news release. 

In York County, 427 homes were sold between January and April — a 7% decrease from the same period in 2019, according to RAYAC's latest statistics.

A sign advertises a house for sale in Glen Rock Borough Monday, April 13, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Pindle said the housing market will only continue to decrease if Wolf doesn't make changes to his limitations on business and personal travel. 

Sales in 2020 started strong, continuing 2019's trend where the average house was on the market for just 23 days, according to statistics from RAYAC.

"As it stands today, Pennsylvania is the only state in the country who has deemed real estate as a nonessential business on a statewide basis," Pindle said. 

Though the effects of the coronavirus on the real estate business might concern agents, Pindle said real estate agents are adapting to shuttered offices by providing virtual tours to showcase properties.

More:Virus outbreak threatens to slow York County's fast-moving housing market

More:'April will be more telling': Realtors unsure how COVID-19 will affect housing market

"The auto dealerships were opened for people needing vehicles to drive to work," Pindle said. "People need homes to safely live in. We are shocked to see the Governor continues to fail to recognize the need for consumers to buy and sell their homes."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.