As part of our review of home sales in our regional footprint, we looked at MLS and internal data on how sales prices changed in 2013 versus 2012. Overall prices rose a mere 2 percent in 2013 over the eight counties that make up the midstate area.
The county posting the strongest growth was Lebanon, with our numbers indicating an 11 percent jump over 2012. Nearby Dauphin went the other way, with a 3 percent decline in the same time period.
In fact, all the counties surveyed posted price changes in between those two extremes. Lancaster, Cumberland, Berks and York all posted slight gains, while Perry, Dauphin and Adams fell slightly. The average sold price peaked in Cumberland at $211,559, with the area average at $171,503.
Overall, I think that while home sales rose in 2013 due to increased buyer activity, the nature of the new real estate landscape is such that buyers are still not willing to "bid up" homes and cause prices to climb precipitously.
It will be interesting to see how the market develops in 2014 should inventory continue to be tight while more buyers jump in. As our Coldwell Banker CEO Budge Huskey commented at our 2014 kick-off meeting in Lancaster last week, what we're seeing is a "rebalancing" of market forces and hopefully a period of stable growth in units and prices. We shall see.