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Harrisburg area Q1 home sales up 18.6 percent

By , - Last modified: April 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM

First-quarter home sales in the greater Harrisburg metro area increased 18.6 percent from a year ago and hit their highest mark in four years, according to Central Penn Multi-List Inc.

Home sales hit 1,387 units in the quarter, up from 1,169 units in 2011, according to Multi-List, a Cumberland County-based company that lists properties for sale and tracks real estate statistics. This year's first quarter is also the highest number of sales in the last four years, representing a 13 percent improvement from 2009 sales, according to the statistics.

"We are very pleased to see a healthy increase in the number of home sales in the first quarter. We are hopeful that this quarter will set the tone for the rest of 2012," Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors President Marti S. Garrett said in a statement.

Although home sales are rising in the area that includes Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and northern York counties, housing prices have fallen. The median price was $149,000 and the average price was $168,198 in the first quarter. Median is about even with 2011's $150,000 price, but the average price fell 1.7 percent.

Prices have fallen farther compared with 2009, when the median price was $157,400 and the average was $178,040, according to Multi-List. Both prices dropped more than 5 percent.

The number of days a house is on the market remained relatively steady from last year, up to 130 days from 127 days, according to Multi-List. In 2009, homes stayed on the market for just 87 days.

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