'Solid pillar in the economy': York County real estate continues to dominate

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
This home on Brighton Drive in Haines Acres recently sold, Monday, November 16, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

York County's bullish housing market has continued into 2021, Realtors said. 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, January started off strong with 460 homes sold — a 37% increase from the same time period last year, when 335 homes were sold, according to statistics provided by the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.

"It has been amazing right now in real estate," said RAYAC President Tina Llorente. "With all the negative doom and gloom out there, real estate has been so strong through all of this. It's really helping out the economy."

Homes for sale on Courtleigh Drive in Springettsbury Township, Monday, November 16, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

With low interest rates and less available inventory in York County, houses are being sold at a rapid pace.

After a nine-week shutdown this past year 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.

In 2020, real estate agents sold approximately 6,696 homes, which is a 4% increase from 2019 and a new record for RAYAC.

On average, a house is on the market for just seven days, Llorente said.

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

More:Families, businesses leaving cities for more space in pandemic, York County Realtors say

In addition, mortgage rates have decreased considerably. 

So far this year, people are paying only 14% of their income for their mortgage, down from 22% in 2018, Llorente said.

"That's a massive drop," Llorente said, adding that the decrease allows more people to shop with flexibility, living where they want to.

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

Approximately 32 houses were sold in the Northeastern School District, a 146% increase compared with the previous January, when 13 houses were sold. 

Northern York saw a 123% increase in home sales relative to the same time last year. 

West Shore and Southern York districts experienced a decline in home sales, both reporting decreases of 4%. 

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

Though the winter market tends to see less activity than its spring counterpart, Llorente said that once the snow melts and warm weather dominates, she expects an increase in inventory.

"Real estate is a solid pillar in the economy," Llorente said. "I do see it being a really active March and April."

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