Local housing sales get back near 2007 levels

January 30. 2013 9:00AM - Last modified: January 30. 2013 9:23AM

Jason Scott

Three months ago, I wrote about how the Harrisburg area was on its way back to pre-recession sales levels for housing.

Jason Scott

Well, we're getting there.

The Central Penn Multi-List Inc. reported 7,313 units sold in 2012 — the highest since 2007 when there were 8,730 homes sold.

That number primarily reflects sales in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties. However, the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors also has members that report sales from neighboring midstate counties.

For more on that, see our print edition this week.

Last year's sales were comparable to 2008 and 2009, when units sold came in at 7,159 and 7,305. The median sale price hasn't changed much in recent years, hovering around $160,000, according to the GHAR.

In 2012, the median was $159,000.

The fourth quarter of 2012 marked the sixth straight quarter of sales growth, according to the GHAR. The fourth quarter came in at 1,774 — the highest since 2009's last quarter.

Is there heightened optimism about 2013? Realtors say yes.

With interest rates expected to stay low for the foreseeable future, anticipate steady showings and sales contracts, they say. If there are more people looking, that likely means more competitive bidding, which pushes up prices.

A stable housing market means spending in other sectors, which should bode well for the regional economy.

Send me your thoughts about the local housing market and trends for 2013.

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@centralpennbusiness.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.


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