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Real Estate

Homes sales outpace 2012; inventory on decline in Central Pa.

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As part of our regular market research in the real estate market in Central Pa., we look at the changes happening with new listings and sales over time.

As of August 2013 (hot off the presses), we are seeing 3 major changes that will affect your home sale if you’re thinking about it in the next six months or so.

1. Home sales are up. There’s no denying it, homes are selling in the region. Our statistics show a 15.7 percent growth in the number of closed properties for January–August over the same period in 2012. Just over 14,000 sales happened during this timeframe.

2. Housing stock is declining. We look at a comparison of new listings against sales to see if the market is “keeping up with itself,” shrinking or ballooning. In 2013, we see 1.84 new listings for every sale, down from 2.08 listings per sale in 2012. This actually is a pretty steep drop (agents confirm these numbers with their complaints that there are fewer “nice” homes to show out there).

Of course, the fact that the ratio is more than 1 indicates that the amount of inventory is still ballooning overall – just not as much this year. In case you were wondering, new listings grew 2.2 percent over last year at almost 26,000 this year so far.

3. “Days on market” is dropping. The average days a home was listed as active on the MLS dropped from 109 in 2012 to 92 this year so far. This is a positive development after months of increasing numbers.

Overall, the real estate market in Central Pa. is stabilizing and we see well-priced, marketable properties selling well. I think we’ll be that much better off as new listings continue to flatten out while keeping the same pace of sales into the end of the year.

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services. Jeff lives in East Petersburg, where he also serves as mayor.

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