York County Realtors struggle with sluggish market: 'There's just no inventory'
For yet another month this year, the York County housing market took a tumble.
Buyers and sellers alike are fighting against rising interest rates and low inventory, discouraging activity in the market. In March, home sales plummeted by 15% from the same time last year, according to statistics published by the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties.
And since the start of 2023, home sales have decreased by 23% from this time last year.
"It is what I expected, but I don't particularly like the numbers," said RAYAC President Reid Weinbrom. "That's what we're looking at right now. But nonetheless, it's still something that we are concerned about because the numbers do not sustain the needs of the population."
A lack of available inventory has continued to be a driving force for the sluggish market.
York County is reporting having less than one month’s supply of inventory, putting it at historically low levels, Weinbrom said.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, inventory was an issue for York County. The pandemic further stressed the situation, however.
"If we take out new construction homes, there are only 225 homes available for sale in all of York County," Weinbrom said. "That's a little bit concerning."
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The rising cost of goods is also contributing to a decrease in sales. New builds, for instance, are delayed because of supply-chain complications.
Rising prices for raw materials and appliances are increasing the cost of new builds. And when coupled with rising interest rates, buyers won't bite, Weinbrom said.
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Interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage are currently at 6.43%, slightly lower than rates in February, according to the federal mortgage agency Freddie Mac.
A home buyer taking on a $175,000 mortgage — the median home value in York County — at the current 6.43% rate would pay about $1,098 each month on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
"I just want to reiterate that we know that there are a lot of qualified buyers out there," Weinbrom said. "There's just no inventory."