Apartment construction on the rise in York County. What does that say about the housing market?
New apartment construction is on the rise in York County, giving families more options for housing during an ongoing severe inventory shortage.
Complexes planned or underway in Spring Grove and Mount Wolf boroughs and York City could be solutions for people who have given up on house hunting.
Although the boost in new construction is a good short-term housing solution, more new homes are needed to alleviate stifled demand, said Elle Hale, president of the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties.
At the end of February, there were only 223 active listings for existing homes in the local market, according to Hale.
That lack of homes has driven some buyers — including clients Hale is working with — to make the switch toward renting until the market frees up again.
“As a temporary solution, it may be beneficial to some people," Hale said. "I just don't know about everyone."
In the long term, she said, it doesn't help families who dream of owning a home.
"We need more homes than apartments," Hale added. "But I understand why apartments may be attractive right now."
From a different perspective, though, Hale acknowledged that not everyone is financially able to own a home or simply cannot keep up with the maintenance required.
Older residents, for example, might prefer apartment living to avoid difficulty with shoveling snow or mowing a lawn.
Other factors, such as land limitations, put constraints on the types of development York County municipalities will allow.
In Spring Grove — where a new complex is going up in place of an existing district high school — limited space means fewer options for new construction.
Kim Hackett, borough manager for Spring Grove, said the geography of the borough makes it tough for new builds.
"The borough is pretty much land-locked in terms of new open land — unlike our surrounding townships we don’t have large tracts of land to develop," Hackett said. "The redevelopment of existing structures certainly is of benefit."
North East Street Apartments, located at 50 N. East St., was redeveloped from the existing high school structure to lay down the foundation for 23 luxury apartments and an 8,000-square-foot commercial space.
Similarly, York City is undergoing redevelopment to build new, affordable apartments.
The York Housing Authority announced last month that construction of The Homes at Thackston Park Phase II will begin soon.
The 50-unit development, located along the Codorus Creek in York City, will replace 32 units in the area of West College Avenue and South Penn Street.
The units being replaced were part of the Codorus Homes Complex, which was the first public housing developed in York City more than 60 years ago.
The project will be funded through federal low-income housing tax credits — which also will be used to fund parking, a community center and recreational areas, according to Creating Opportunities in Neighborhood Environments.
In Mount Wolf borough, construction has launched for a new 11.5-acre community just outside the Northeastern High School stadium.
The development will feature 170 units, a club house, pet spa and fitness center, according to a news release provided by the developer.
— Reach Tina Locurto at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.