Realtors confident in York County housing market after May slump

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
A sign advertises a house for sale in Glen Rock Borough Monday, April 13, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

York County real estate agents are confident the housing market is making a rebound, despite sales in May sharply declining by 57%.

Realtors blame the drop on Gov. Tom Wolf's stay-at-home order that classified the industry as nonessential for nine weeks.

In May, 265 homes were sold, approximately 346 fewer than were sold in May 2019, according to statistics from the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties. Additional data shows that 1,988 homes were sold from January to May, a 16% decrease from the same time period last year.

Realtors called on Wolf to reopen the real estate industry after April statistics showed York County's once-hot housing market had all but stalled amid the coronavirus shutdown. 

A new order from Wolf on May 19 allowing Realtors to conduct in-person business, however, has created an "explosive amount" of activity in the market, said Shanna Terroso, executive officer for RAYAC.

"While the May number of sold homes is down as a result of less homes going under contract during the 9 week shutdown, what we're seeing today in the real estate market for York County is truly an incredible bounce back," Terroso said via email. 

A sign advertises a house for sale in Glen Rock Borough Monday, April 13, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Several school districts, including West York, Dallastown and Central York, saw the greatest negative growth for the number of houses sold.

Only 12 houses were sold in West York, a 74% decrease compared with May 2019, in which 46 houses were sold. 

Dallastown and Central York also saw a 71% decrease in home sales relative to the same time last year. 

During the shutdown, the weekly average number of homes going under a contract was 79. After May 19, the weekly average of homes increased to 263 — more than three times the average, Terroso said.

Sales in 2020 started strong, continuing 2019's trend where the average house was on the market for just 23 days — which also marked a new record for the industry, according to statistics from RAYAC.

More:Local Realtors 'thrilled' to get back to work

More:Realtors demand Wolf reopen housing market

Since deeming real estate an essential industry, Wolf has outlined new guidelines for agents, including recommendations for all in-person activities to be scheduled and limited to no more than the real estate agent and a maximum of two people inside a property.

The new policy also encourages Realtors to space out the scheduling of properties, avoiding physical contact and minimizing time spent at a property by having discussions remotely. 

Sue Pindle, the 2020 RAYAC president, said since Wolf's new order, many new listings are seeing multiple offers in a span of only a few days.

Pindle said that although she isn't surprised by the May decline, she's confident statistics moving forward will be positive.

"Spring months typically enjoy the highest number of residential sales," Pindle said. "The combination of pent-up demand, low interest rates and lack of inventory makes it a truly incredible time to sell your home."

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