Despite pandemic, 2020 a record year for York County's housing market

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
A "for sale" sign is visible outside a home in North Codorus Township Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

After a nine-week shutdown amid the global pandemic, Realtors said they had no idea the York County housing market would rebound as quickly as it did — let alone set new records and usher in a prime seller's market.

This past year, real estate agents sold approximately 6,696 homes, which is a 4% increase from 2019 and a new record for the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties, said RAYAC President Tina Llorente.

"Home sellers are ecstatic that they're getting the prices that they've wanted," Llorente said. "It's a little tricky for sellers, but the market is a very exciting place right now."

Houses that go up for sale are being bought at record speeds, a rush attributed to low inventory and interest rates. On average, a house is on the market for just seven days, Llorente said.

To put the situation into perspective, Llorente said that when she was starting out as a Realtor 20 years ago, the average house was on the market for close to two months. 

The boom in the housing market can also be attributed to lifestyle changes, she added.

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the workforce to shift from office cubicles to home spaces, workers have adjusted how they use the rooms they have. 

"We've seen a lot of residential folks turning their dining rooms into offices because that seems to be the trend," Llorente said. "As people are looking for a little more elbow room, they're starting to look a little further abroad, being able to work from home."

This transition to remote working has been a driving force strengthening the York County housing market, she said.

In December, 642 homes were sold in York County — a 23% increase over the same month in 2019, according to statistics provided by RAYAC.

Several school districts, including York City and Northern York, saw significant increases in the number of houses sold in December.

Approximately 66 houses were sold in the York City School District, a 120% increase compared with the previous December, when 30 houses were sold. 

Northern York saw a 58% increase in home sales relative to the same time last year. 

Dallastown and Red Lion districts experienced a decline in home sales, reporting decreases of 4% and 18% respectively. 

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

"2020 absolutely was a phenomenal record year, which we never would have anticipated in the spring," Llorente said. "We're very excited for the (2021) spring market."

— Reach Tina Locurto at or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.