New home listings are on the rise in Greater Harrisburg area

Paula Wolf//July 15, 2021

New home listings are on the rise in Greater Harrisburg area

Paula Wolf//July 15, 2021

Though there’s still a shortage of inventory in the three-county region covered by the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors, the number of new listings in the area is on the rise, according to Adrian Smith, association president.

That’s welcome news to agents who have been working in a market for months where demand has significantly outstripped supply.

Listings from May to June are up 21.3% in Dauphin County, 21% in Cumberland County and 38.1% in Perry County, according to a monthly report from the association.

In fact, inventory is better than in 2019, Smith said; demand is still so strong, however, that prices keep climbing and days on market keeps shrinking.

For houses listed at $200,000 to $299,999, days on market for June was nine, a ridiculously low figure, he said. Two years ago, it was 27 days.

From June 2020 to June 2021, the median sold price went from $224,900 to $258,500 in Cumberland County, from $179,950 to $209,000 in Dauphin County and from $175,900 to $200,000 in Perry County.

And from May to June of this year, average days on market fell from 38 to 15 in Cumberland County, 47 to 16 in Dauphin County and 22 to 17 in Perry County.

Home sales in the three-county area reached 805 last month, 59% more than the 505 settlements in May. The totals by county were 394 for Cumberland, 376 for Dauphin and 35 for Perry.

With demand so high, the average sold-to-original-list-price ratio in June exceeded the asking price in each county, coming in at 102.8% for Cumberland, 103.1% for Dauphin and 101.2% for Perry.

The Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors also released second quarter housing statistics by school district.

Median prices in Cumberland County’s nine school districts ranged from $199,000 in Shippensburg Area to $325,000 in Cumberland Valley. The lowest average days on market was nine in East Pennsboro.

Among Dauphin County’s 10 districts, median prices went from $114,900 in Harrisburg City to $250,000 in Central Dauphin. Susquehanna recorded the lowest average days on market – 10.

Median prices in Perry County’s four districts ranged from $149,000 in Greenwood to $234,000 in West Perry. The fewest average days on market was 13 in Susquenita.

Smith, the 2021 association president, said lack of entry-level housing remains a problem.

One program that could help more people afford a home is a bill in the state General Assembly, he said, that would allow eligible Pennsylvanians to open special savings accounts and take state tax deductions for savings toward a down payment, closing costs and other expenses.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), said in a release that as many as 4,000 additional home purchases annually could result from the program, producing an economic impact of $7.8 million to $68.8 million.

And in Congress, Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jimmy Panetta of California have introduced the First-Time Homebuyer Act.

The legislation, targeted at low- and middle-income earners, provides a refundable tax credit up to 10% of the purchase price, with a maximum of $15,000.