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Winter weather delays and a return to 2007

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Despite winter weather delaying home sales and, ultimately, closings, first-quarter sales in the greater Harrisburg area — 1,447 units sold — were in line with figures reported by the Central Penn Multi-List Inc. since 2003.

Over that span, the area has averaged 1,476 residential sales involving agents in the first quarter, according to data analyzed.

The strongest opening quarters were in 2006 and 2007 when sales were 1,834 and 1,854, respectively. The lowest over that 12-year period was 2011 with 1,169 sales.

In Cumberland and Dauphin counties, first-quarter sales were 480 and 513, respectively. For Cumberland County, that was down from last year's opening quarter of 518. The county has averaged 492 home sales in the first quarter since 2012, according to the MLS data.

In Dauphin County, 513 sales was up from 485 in the first quarter of 2013. The county has averaged 502 home sales in the first quarter since 2012.

The two counties made up about 69 percent of the first-quarter MLS total, which also covers Juniata and Perry counties and includes sales from members in neighboring counties. The latter includes York County, though individual sales are not broken out.

What about the second quarter? Realtors and brokers have said they expect a strong second and third quarter because of the weather.

Last year, the area recorded 2,222 sales in the second quarter en route to nearly 8,000 total sales. The annual total was the highest since 2007 when there were 8,730 sales, according to the MLS.

Based on the reported settlement delays and growth in the second quarter over the last two years, I'll predict 2,500 sales between April and June for the Harrisburg area. That would also put us back near 2007 levels.

Between 2003 and 2007, the area averaged 2,507 home sales in the second quarter.

What do you think? Am I way off base?

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 jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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