Is York County's hot housing market losing its sizzle?
Rising interest rates are putting a damper on York County's still hot housing market.
Sales in March saw a decline of 1%, after five fewer homes sold in the county compared to the same period last year, according to the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties.
The latest increase in interest rates — which have been historically low since the COVID-19 pandemic started — is partially to blame for the stagnating activity of the market, according to RAYAC President Elle Hale.
After remaining near 3% for the better part of 2021, interest rates have climbed to 5%, Hale said.
"With it being in the three range for so long, now seeing five is a bit of a sticker shock," Hale added.
In addition to increasing interest rates, competition for homes in York County is still fierce, and some buyers might be taking a break.
While the general attitude of homebuyers looking in York County is hopeful, many have turned to renting amid inventory issues and competitive bidding.
"I've heard that we're still somewhat in a multiple offer situation," Hale said of the current market. "Though it’s calmed down a little bit."
In York County, 1,402 homes sold during the first quarter of 2022 — a 1% increase from this time last year.
Several school districts, including Northeastern and Eastern York, saw significant increases in the number of houses sold in March.
In March, 48 houses sold in the Northeastern School District, compared to the 29 sold the previous March.
Eastern York saw a 27% increase in home sales relative to the same time last year.
Northern York and South Western school districts experienced a decline in home sales during March, reporting decreases of 41% and 21%, respectively.
Housing sales are broken down by school district in RAYAC's report.
Coming on the heels of a sizzling 2021 market, the same story remains: a lack of inventory.
For years, inventory has remained a challenge for Realtors. The problem was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, some of Hale's clients are taking a break from the house hunt or are seeking other options like renting or building their own house.
“In my experience, most buyers aren't in a rush to move, so I think that helps,” Hale said. “There's no desperation to find a new place, and they have time to look."
— Reach Tina Locurto at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.