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Lancaster homes sales up 6.1% in Q1Construction spending, hourly earnings on the rise

By , - Last modified: May 8, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Housing demand continues to surge in Lancaster County.

There were 929 sales in the first quarter compared to 876 in the same quarter last year, according to the Lancaster County Association of Realtors.

The five-year average of sales for the first quarter is 808, which puts this past quarter up 6.1 percent from last year and 15 percent above the half-decade average.

The quarterly average sales price was $176,263, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to last year.

New listings dipped 8.3 percent to 1,981 in the first quarter, while pending sales increased 4.1 percent, according to the association.

Spending more on housing

While construction spending was down in March, the value of private residential is on the rise, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Single-family spending was valued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $162 billion in March, while multifamily was at $27.5 billion. Those estimates are up 37.6 percent and 52.7 percent, respectively, over March 2012.

Private residential hasn't cracked $300 billion since November 2008, according to the Census Bureau. It's been above $280 billion since August 2012.

Pay going up

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls have increased by 45 cents over the last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In April, it was $23.87.

In construction, hourly pay jumped 40 cents over the year to $26.07. Average weekly earnings were $1,014.12, or up $16.12, according to the BLS.

The number of female employees in construction jumped to 737,000 from 720,000. Women make up 12.7 percent of the construction workforce.

Click here to download a PDF file of employment data for April 2013.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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