York County home sales figures in dispute
How many homes were sold last year in York County?
The answer has become a bone of contention between the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties and Bright MLS, a new Mid-Atlantic home-listing service that took over MLS services from local Realtor associations last fall.
The York-based association, known as RAYAC, believes more homes were sold last year than Bright has reported. In response, RAYAC released its own annual sales report hoping to clarify market conditions in York County.
RAYAC says York County home sales increased by 11 percent last year from 2016 with 6,243 homes sold compared with 5,649.
The Bright MLS provided sales data in mid-January for Central Pennsylvania. In its report, Bright reported 6,094 sales for York County last year compared with 5,888 in 2016, a 3.5 percent increase.
"The new Bright MLS had a lot of duplicate listing details which would have significantly altered the statistics," RAYAC spokeswoman Beth Izzo said. "The information is now up-to-date and duplicates have been removed so we are confident in releasing year-end statistics to you."
Izzo said RAYAC also added listings from its old MLS system that weren't showing in Bright earlier, which helps explain why the RAYAC number for 2017 is higher than what was reported by Bright.
Duplication is inherent any time data systems are consolidated, especially at a regional level.
Bright officials said they expect duplication to be less of a factor moving forward as local real estate professionals are no longer using older MLS systems for listings. All midstate listings are now going through Bright.
"Despite the duplication, the numbers still tell an accurate overall story of the market," said Sharon Lukens, Bright's vice president of communications and customer engagement. "Going forward, duplication shouldn't be a factor. These markets are now united in one system, and each new listing only exists once in the MLS."
That is why Bright was formed, she said. Realtor associations wanted a more unified reporting system for the Mid-Atlantic region, rather than having MLS services in every county. Properties in school districts near county borders tend to cause more duplication issues on the MLS.
York County breakdown
Within the RAYAC report, Dallastown Area School District led the way with 627 home sales last year. However, that was only up 3 percent from 2016.
Central York was second with 560 sales, up from 551 the previous year.
By percentage growth, Northern York and West Shore saw the biggest increases. Northern York posted 272 home sales last year, up 74 percent from 2016 when 156 homes were sold.
Meanwhile, West Shore sales rose by 64 percent with 414 sales versus 252 in 2016.
The county's median-sale price increased by 6 percent last year, the fifth year in a row for prices increases. The median was $169,900 compared with $159,900 in 2016, according to RAYAC.
York City homes shot up by 27 percent last year. The median-sale price was $53,000, up from $41,612.
South Western's median-sale price jumped by 12 percent to $189,900 from $169,000, while York Suburban homes sold for a median-sale price of $169,900 from $152,450, an increase of 11 percent.
This story has been updated to include comments from Bright MLS.