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Real Estate

The numbers are in: 2013 rocked for real estate

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Well, the numbers are finally crunched for us as we put 2013 in the can. Time to look forward to a new year!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the essential stats from our survey of the midstate market using multi-list and internal data for residential properties in Adams, York, Perry, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties combined.

The overall market grew by 9 percent from 2012 to 2013, with 21,338 residential listings selling this past year in the region. All the counties posted gains in sales, ranging from 5 percent in Lancaster to a whopping 28 percent in Adams. The majority of the growth was in the 10-12 percent range by county -- quite respectable.

Keep in mind, however, that this should be viewed as a rebound from the severe dip in home sales since 2008. Context is important.

The average days on market fell significantly in the midstate last year, with most counties posting 16-17 percent reductions in the time a listing sat on the market. The average for all of the counties? Eighty-eight, with a role reversal of Lancaster leading with 72 days and Adams the longest at 108 days. Overall, this is an effect from buyers getting back into the market and selecting the better listings. (Condition and price are king, as ever.)

Lastly, what about those prices? In 2013, the average sales price rose just a tad (2 percent) to $171,503. Lebanon County was the big gainer, with an 11 percent jump in price to $173,133. As always, Cumberland reigned with a whopping $211,559 average price (the effect of the high numbers of new homes in that area, no doubt).

Other than Lebanon, all the counties held relatively steady, with ups and downs ranging between -3 percent and +4 percent. This can be taken on balance as good news for most; steady prices and increasing sales set the stage for further growth in the market over the next few years.

Overall, the real estate industry can certainly be pleased with the 2013 numbers. We’ll see what the next phase looks like in 2014.

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan is the marketing manager for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Central Pennsylvania, based in Camp Hill with 20 offices in 10 counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg, where he also serves as mayor. He has been active in local government and business and has been used as a resource by local, regional and national publications.

All opinions in Jeff’s blog are his own and do not reflect those of his company or any other entities.

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