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Harrisburg-area home sales up 5 percent in Q1

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The East Shore bested the West Shore in the first quarter, at least in terms of home sales.

The Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors last week reported 1,866 homes sold during the first three months of the year, which was up 5.1 percent over the year. It was the strongest opening quarter in more than a decade for the Harrisburg area.

Dauphin County accounted for 661 home sales, while Cumberland County finished March with 605. However, the West Shore had the higher median-sale price at $179,000 compared with $140,000 on the East Shore.

The association's multiple listing service, or MLS, also tracks sales in surrounding counties, including Perry, Juniata and northern York.

"Across the board, agents are telling me that good products, houses in good condition that are move-in ready, are seeing multiple showing requests and receiving multiple offers," said John Esser, president of the association.

Rising interest rates have spurred some renters to become buyers, he added. "As the economy continues to grow, we're seeing a comeback of first-time homebuyers."

The median-sale price in the Harrisburg area overall was $159,700 in the first quarter, up 6.5 percent from last year. The majority of homes sold in the first quarter — 1,245 — fetched less than $200,000, which was in line with 2016.

The $300,000 to $399,999 price range saw 147 home sales compared with 121 last year, according to the association. Meanwhile, 106 homes priced over $400,000 sold, up from 81 last year.

The average listing in the Harrisburg area was on the market for 77 days, down from 89 days last year and 104 days in the first quarter of 2015, according to the association. In Cumberland County alone, the average listing sold in 69 days.

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

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