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Forbes ranks Lancaster 8th in U.S. for home buying

Affordable prices and a stable job market have helped propel Lancaster to the eighth-best place in the country to buy a house right now, according to a recent Forbes.com Top 10 list.

The Lancaster County Association of Realtors said 336 homes sold in April, a 15.6 percent decrease from April 2010 when homebuyer tax credits still were impacting the market.

Home sales dropped 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with last year, the association said. The average sale price for April dipped 5.5 percent from the list price, to $167,119.

The Forbes.com list gauged home affordability, unemployment and foreclosure rates and year-over-year housing price trends.

Pittsburgh, which trailed only Rochester, N.Y., was the only other Pennsylvania metro area on the list. The median home price in the Steel City is $103,900.

Lancaster’s median sale price for April was $154,900 versus $168,000 for the same month last year, according to the association.

Earlier this year, Zillow.com, a Seattle-based real estate data website, listed Lancaster No. 7 on its respective list. Pittsburgh came in at No. 4.

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