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In the market to buy a house? York County Realtors say now is the time

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

York County real estate agents cite low interest rates and less available inventory for why the housing market has rebounded from its slump during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September, 649 homes were sold in York County — an 11% increase from the same time in 2019, according to statistics provided by the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties.

Despite ongoing monthly increases, overall sales from January to September this year were down by 3% compared with 2019. So far this year, 4,710 homes have been sold, compared with 4,866 homes sold in the same period last year.

The York County housing market declined at the beginning of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Tom Wolf's stay-at-home order. It wasn't until Wolf reopened real estate in May that agents saw growth again.

"The September sales numbers are consistent with our previous predictions," said RAYAC President Heather Kreiger via email. "The market remains quick-moving and we are continuing to see a supply shortage as well as a continual increase in the median home sale price for York County."

Kreiger added that incentives including low interest rates and fewer houses available for purchase are motivating buyers to pursue purchasing a house during the pandemic.

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

Since 2016, real estate agents have seen a nationwide downward trend of inventory levels. 

"The main culprit for the ever-shrinking housing stock is the imbalance of demand that has been created by a healthy, robust economy and the lack of new residential construction projects," Kreiger said.

York County, too, is seeing the effects in housing stock.

At the height of the housing boom in 2005, there were 3,064 residential units in the pipeline to be built. In 2019, that number has dropped to 1,342, Kreiger said, citing statistics provided by the York County Planning Commission.

"I believe that October will again post strong sale numbers, given that September was another month of higher-than-normal levels of pending sales," Kreiger said.

More:'Another strong month': York County housing market rebounding after slump

More:Local Realtors 'thrilled' to get back to work

As for school districts, Northern and Eastern York recorded declines in housing sales for September. Northern and Eastern each saw decreases of 17%.

Spring Grove, on the other hand, saw growth in home sales in September, with an 80% increase when compared with 2019, according to RAYAC's latest statistics. A total of 45 houses were sold in the district last month, compared with 25 in the same month in 2019.

Housing sales are broken down by school district in RAYAC's report.

"The activity that we have seen so far in the first two weeks of October is also indicative that sale activity is going to remain strong throughout this month and into November," Kreiger said.

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