Central Pa. rents rise slightly but overall trend down from pandemic highs

Central Pennsylvania rents inched up slightly in November but are still less than they were a year ago, according to the newest report from Apartment List.

This drop from pandemic highs follows a national trend.

In the three-county Harrisburg metro area of Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, median rents rose 0.4% from October to November while falling 0.9% over the previous 12 months.

The latest median rents in the region were $1,040 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,337 for a two-bedroom unit, the report said.

Rob Warnock, a senior research associate with Apartment List, wrote in an email, “Like most other parts of the country, central Pennsylvania has experienced a swift slowdown in rent growth during 2022. Prices today are slightly lower than they were one year ago, following dramatic increases the year before that.

“While it is a welcomed relief, rents are still up more than 30% since the start of the pandemic (March 2020), so the current market slowdown is not undoing much of the affordability concerns that have developed over the past couple years. The slowdown has been attributed to broader economic worries and lower consumer confidence, as people have been putting off big, expensive decisions like moving, buying a house or starting a family.”

Apartment List’s national rent index fell by 1% in November, the third straight monthly drop and the largest single monthly dip in the history of the index, which dates from 2017.

As Warnock noted, reasons for the cool down appear to be tied to economic factors, rather than just the typical seasonal trend.

Over the course of the year, rent growth continues to outpace pre-pandemic levels, but by smaller and smaller margins, the report said. Through November of 2022, rents are up 4.7%, “which is much closer to the … rates we saw in 2018 and 2019 than it is to the astronomical 18% growth that we saw at this point last year.”

Accompanying the slowdown in rent growth is a rise in unoccupied units. Nationally, the Apartment List vacancy index is 5.7% through November, after gradually climbing from a low of 4.1% last fall.

“Today’s vacancy rate still remains below the pre-pandemic norm but could get back to that benchmark as early as next spring, if the current rate of easing continues,” according to the report.

From April through August, vacancy ticked up 0.2 percentage points, from 5.1% to 5.3%. But from August through November, the index rose 0.6 percentage points, reaching the current 5.7%.

“After a prolonged period of skyrocketing rent growth, and with non-housing-related costs also getting more expensive as a result of broad-based inflation, it seems that some Americans are moving back in with family or roommates, or delaying striking out on their own,” Apartment List explained.

Meanwhile, new apartment construction is getting back on track after encountering delays during the pandemic. “This combination of slowing household formation and rising inventory,” the report noted, “is driving the recent shifts that we are seeing in both our rent growth and vacancy indexes.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Central Pa., Lehigh Valley projects granted funding for workforce development

Workforce development projects across Pennsylvania are receiving $5.5 million in Industry Partnership Grant funding aimed at meeting local and regional workforce needs. The announcement was made Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf. 

Central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley projects will receive approximately $2 million combined funds in grants. 

Industry Partnership (IPs) grants are administered through the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I). The program supports businesses partnering to build a stronger, more competitive job market through training, networking, recruitment, and collaboration within targeted industries and offer Pennsylvanians opportunities for pathways into careers and jobs with wages that are family-sustaining. 

“With Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate holding steady at a record low, it is our collective responsibility to make decisions that are responsive to the needs of both Pennsylvania workers and employers in sectors where talent pipelines are tapped,” Wolf said in a statement. 

“By investing in workforce development projects, and specifically industry partnerships, we can connect hardworking Pennsylvanians wit opportunities to advance their skillsets and obtain family-sustaining jobs in booming industries.” 

Pennsylvania has invested more than $40 million since 2018 to enhance opportunities for workers through apprenticeship programs and industry partnerships via Wolf’s PAsmart initiative. This new round of funding provides grants to 25 Industry Partnerships to increase awareness and implement strategies for workforce development in the agriculture, construction, education, healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, hospitality and energy industries. 

“At L&I, we strategically use resources to connect Pennsylvania employers with a highly skilled and talented workforce who can do the jobs of tomorrow,” L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said. “We continue to do that, first and foremost, by investing in people and their families.” 

Following is a list of Central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley PAsmart grant winners and their award amounts: 

  • AgConnect (Lehigh, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia – $250,000). Grant funding for technical assistance for farm and food business partners in the region for training, management, and accounting; create youth pipeline development and provide hands on experience to high school students; implement an Innovative Workplace Solutions grant program; and provide project management for the PA Cheese Guild and Growing Roots Partners’ Good Food Fest. 
  • Lehigh Valley Healthcare Pipeline Industry Partnership (Lehigh, Northampton – $250,000). The partnership will conduct healthcare industry employer roundtables and develop a Workforce Pipeline Strategic Action Plan Committee. Projected activities to support workers include identifying strategies for recruitment of adults, youth, and those in underrepresented populations. 
  • Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties (Lancaster, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, York – $250,000). Funding to recruit and retain employees for participating companies. The project will also focus on outreach efforts to youth and their parents promoting manufacturing careers and create programs to connect women and female students to careers in manufacturing. 
  • Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern PA (Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, York, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia – $250,000). Goals include consumer and business education about different energy sources. 
  • The Innovative Technology Action Group (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia – $250,000). The partnership will use its funds for employer outreach, technology education events for IT professionals, incumbent worker training, and youth career exploration activities. 
  • South Central Construction Industry Partnership (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon. Perry, York – $204,396.44). Funding will be used for partnership start-up and convening regional partners to develop outreach strategies. 
  • South Central Manufacturing Industry Partnership (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, York – $250,000). Funding to build a pipeline of diverse young individuals pursuing careers in manufacturing by promoting careers in the industry via social media and connections among manufacturers in the region. 
  • South Central NextGen IT Industry Partnership (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, perry, York – $250,000). Funding for creating awareness and access to employers and resources to increase a skilled workforce that can meet the current IT needs of the region. Funds will be used to build a communication infrastructure for employers, educators, and job seekers. 
  • Opportunity for All Pennsylvania Construction Industry Partnership (Statewide – $250,000). Funding to hire a project manager that will research and develop education materials on best practices around apprenticeship readiness, diverse pipelines, and local hire/community benefit agreements.

Central Pa. community improvement projects gain new funding

Central Pennsylvania counties are among the counties across Pennsylvania receiving new funding to support community improvement projects. 

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday nearly $8 million in Keystone Communities Program grants for 51 projects in 30 counties across the state. 

“The funding provided through the Keystone Communities Program supports towns and cities with initiatives that work to create growth and stability in their neighborhoods while encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors,” Wolf said in a statement. “These projects will build stronger communities, attract new residents and businesses, and boost the commonwealth’s economy.” 

The Wolf Administration has approved since January 2015 approximately $38 million through the Keystone Communities Program since to fund 247 projects statewide, including façade grants for businesses, accessible housing projects, public infrastructure improvements, and other projects to strengthen communities and downtown districts. The Keystone Communities Program is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). 

Central Pennsylvania’s approved projects include the following: 

Adams County 

  • Mainstreet Gettysburg, Inc.: $50,000 for the Gettysburg Façade Improvement Program, focused on improving existing façades in the historic district. 

Berks County 

  • Alvernia University: $177,522 to renovate the historic American House in the City of Reading 
  • Sinking Spring Borough: $50,000 for the Façade Grant Program, focused on improving existing façades for residents and business owners. 

Dauphin County 

  • Community Basics, Inc.: $400,000 for the construction of six affordable townhomes in Steelton Borough 
  • Tri-County Housing Development Corporation: $366,190 for the construction of five affordable townhomes in Harrisburg. 

Lancaster County 

  • Ephrata Development Organization: $50,000 for the Downtown Ephrata Façade Improvement Program focused on improving existing façades in the historic central business district. 

York County 

  • Y Community Development Corporation: $67,355 for a safety and security project on West Philadelphia Street, West Market Street and Philadelphia Street. 

Additional community improvement projects were approved in the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, McKean, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Warren, and Washington.

Pa. counties receive more than $1 million in Veterans’ Trust Fund awards

Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York are among the 14 Pennsylvania county veterans’ affairs offices and 34 charitable or veteran service organizations receiving grants from the Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF), announced Tuesday by Gov. Tom Wolf. 

The VTF is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).  It is funded by voluntary $5 donations from Pennsylvanians applying for or renewing their driver’s license, photo ID, or a motor vehicle registration. The VTF also receives proceeds from private donations and the sale of Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring our Women Veterans license plates. 

Wolf said in a statement that the fund helps fill gaps in services to veterans that would otherwise go unfilled. 

“The county offices and civic organizations who receive these grants do incredible work supporting our veterans,” said Wolf. “They truly improve the lives of veterans, providing them with life-enhancing programs and services. Pennsylvania owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who contributes to this program, either as a donor or hard-working recipient.” 

A total of $1.35 million in grants was awarded, with $200,000 to county veterans affairs offices and $1.15 million to charitable or veteran service organizations. Grantees slated to receive funding identified more than $1 million in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $2.4 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years. 

“As Pennsylvania’s biggest veteran advocate, the DMVA connects veterans to benefits that meet their daily needs,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “Our goal is to reach every veteran in the commonwealth. The best way in obtaining that goal is by collaborating with other organizations to conduct our outreach campaign. 

“It is through this collaboration and these grants that veterans receive the help they need and earned by serving our nation. I would like to personally thanks all those that donate to ensure our veterans get the best we can give them.” 

Up to a total of $200,000 in grant funding was available for new, innovative, or expanded programs or services provided by county directors of veterans’ affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The three areas of emphasis for grantees in this category were veterans’ outreach, veterans’ courts, and training and capacity building. The Berks County Office of Veterans Affairs received $20,000 to implement a county veterans temporary assistance grant program. 

The VTF grant also identified $1.15 million in funding available to veteran service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and non-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Funding priorities for grants in this category were veterans’ employment and education, behavioral health initiatives, or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families. 

Central Pennsylvania grantees, their specific award amounts, and their programs supported are as follows: 

  • Building Bridges Foundation at Anderson Farm, Conestoga (Lancaster County): $35,000 to provide interactive equine therapy to veterans 
  • Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $50,000 to support the MilitaryShare program 
  • JFT Recovery and Veterans Support Services, Lemoyne (Cumberland County): $50,000 to assist veterans with vocational, educational and job services 
  • Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, Camp Hill (Cumberland County): $45,000 to provide financial assistance to veterans 
  • rabbitCARES, York (York County): $49,900 for transportation services to veterans 
  • Rodale Institute, Kutztown (Berks County): $50,000 to support the veteran farming training program 
  • Writeface, Conestoga (Lancaster County): $34,080 to provide therapeutic services to veterans.

Cumberland, Dauphin projects green lighted for traffic signal tech funding

Cumberland and Dauphin counties have been given the green light to receive combined grant funding of nearly $2 million for the installation and maintenance of traffic signal technologies. 

Provided via the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT’s) Traffic Signal Technologies Grant program, the funding is aimed at increasing mobility and efficiency in communities across the state. 

“The safety improvements supported by the Traffic Signal Technologies grant program not only help municipalities relieve congestion and traffic flow, they help Pennsylvanians move safely and efficiently,” Wolf said in a statement. “I’m proud to help our communities improve mobility for Pennsylvanians.” 


Dauphin County’s Lower Paxton Township received $1,206, 406 for installation of an adaptive traffic signal system along Linglestown Road. 

Cumberland County received funding for the following approved projects: 

  • Carlisle Borough – $109,000 for connection of signals along Route 11, Allen Road, and Walnut Bottom Road to PennDOT’s unified command and control software; 
  • Middlesex Township – $107,000 for connection of signals along Harrisburg Pike including the I-81 interchange to PennDOT’s unified command and control software; 
  • Silver Spring Township – $203,750 for connection of signals throughout the Township to PennDOT’s unified command and control software; and 
  • South Middleton Township – $116,297 for connection of signals along Allen Road and Walnut Bottom Road to PennDOT’s unified command and control software. 


Established by Act 54 of 2022, the Traffic Signal Technologies Grant program reimburses municipalities for updating and improving the efficiency and operation of existing traffic signals. The program’s grant funding can be used for operational improvements including new traffic signal systems, adaptive signal control technology, automated traffic signal performance measures, and connection to PennDOT’s unified command and control software. 


Other counties receiving grant funding through the Traffic Signal Technology program are Butler, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Montgomery, Montour, and Northampton.

Forest Hills Commons professional center adds space, seeks tenants

An aerial view of Forest Hills Commons, a neighborhood professional center being constructed in Lower Paxton Township. PHOTO/PROVIDED
An aerial view of Forest Hills Commons, a neighborhood professional center being constructed in Lower Paxton Township. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Forest Hills Commons, a neighborhood professional center being constructed in Lower Paxton Township, has a major tenant moving in plus a third building completed and ready for occupancy.

Eric Kessler, president of Vanguard Realty Group, the developer of the project, said Forest Hills Commons will consist of multiple buildings totaling 73,000 square feet “and growing.”

The newest tenant, Blue Mountain Veterinary Care, a full-service animal hospital, is expected to open by the end of the year in the nearly 4,000-square-foot building at 2360 Colonial Road, Kessler said.

Nature & Nurture Discovery School, which has the capacity for 120 students, opened in 2020 in a 7,400-square-foot building at 2320 Colonial Road.

Kessler, who’s been a real estate developer for 42 years, said he has now finished a 10,000-square-foot building at 2380 Colonial Road; he is seeking a range of tenants there, including something medical, food related or a retail business like a nail salon.

At Linglestown and Colonial roads, about 15 minutes from downtown Harrisburg, Forest Hills Commons is being marketed by Bennett Williams Commercial and RSR Realty.

“The center benefits from the high traffic flow of Linglestown Road, which is one of the heaviest traveled roadways in the market,” the Bennett Williams marketing brochure said.

“Linglestown Road acts as one of the focal points for retail in Harrisburg, with a trade area that extends more than 10 miles, attracting a vast customer base from the surrounding market points.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Migration report shows Lancaster and Hershey attracting new residents

Bucking a statewide trend, two central Pennsylvania cities/towns are seeing more people moving in than out so far this year.

Lancaster and Hershey rank first and second in moveBuddha’s 2021-2022 Pennsylvania Migration Report, with search data showing 159 moves into Lancaster for every 100 moves out.

The info was collected from Jan. 1 to Oct. 10 of this year, encompassing searches nationwide by individuals who were planning to move themselves or hire a moving company in 2022.

For its report, moveBuddha looked at only cities or towns with at least 25 inbound and 25 outbound searches, identifying 55 in Pennsylvania that were the most popular.

While Lancaster came in a clear first, Hershey edged out Kennett Square for second, with 132 moves in for every 100 moves out.

The vast majority of cities and towns on the list, however – 38 of 55 – showed the opposite trend.

A blog post on moveBuddha said Pennsylvania has the 13th worst migration ratio of the 50 states so far in 2022, with 83 people arriving for every 100 leaving.

What makes Lancaster a destination, moveBuddha said, is its history and diversity, plus its proximity to the more rural areas of the county. “It provides more space for folks looking to leave the denser Philly metro area,” for example.

Hershey was praised for its small-town atmosphere, which “is attractive to many.”

Some other highlights from the report:

· Florida is the top destination for those moving out of the commonwealth, followed by California, Texas, North Carolina and New York. One possible factor cited for Florida’s top ranking is its lack of income tax.

· Lebanon, Levittown, Monroeville, Norristown and Pottstown are all seeing two times more moves headed out than in this year.

· Over the past few years, Pennsylvania has seen negative net migration. Better job opportunities in other states and the shift to remote work are cited as potential reasons.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Long-serving Republican Gordner announces resignation from Pa. Senate

John R. Gordner, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Montour/Northumberland/Snyder, has announced his resignation from the Pennsylvania Senate. 

Gordner’s resignation becomes effective on Nov. 30, 2022. He has served 30 years in the Pennsylvania State House and State Senate. He called it “an honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the 109th Legislative District and the 27th Senatorial District.” 

Upon his recent reelection, Gordner said he had planned to serve until the end of his term in November 2024 and then retire. “However, I have been presented with a unique opportunity that, after much family discussion and consideration, I have decided to accept.” 

He said he is accepting this week a position that allows him to take full advantage of his 30-year legislative experience in the House and Senate along with his 35 years as an attorney. 

“Once again, I want to thank the residents of Columbia, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder counties that have supported me over the past 30 years.” 

District offices in Bloomsburg, Mount Carmel, and Shamokin Dam will remain fully operational during the vacancy. 

Most recently, Gordner announced three significant funding awards for his constituents. On Nov. 18, Snyder County business Live Edge USA, LLC was awarded a $2.5 million grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). 

Live Edge USA acquired a specialty hardwood lumber operation in rural Snyder County to grow its Brick Mill Furniture Company.  The project includes 10-times more kiln capacity, construction of additional lumber storage and upgrades to utilize wood waste and solar energy for heat and power.  The improvements are expected to grow the local workforce, and Gordner said the creation of additional jobs “will leave a lasting impact on the local economy.” 

Also on Nov. 18, a $2 million grant was awarded through RACP to DRIVE for the revitalization of the former Sunbury Hospital. The funds will be used to help renovate the facility by improving mechanical systems; updating interior floors, walls, and lighting; and the construction of various residential, commercial, and retail spaces. 

Gordner said the substantial state dollars will be used “to turn a closed facility into a useful space for businesses and residents.” 

On. Nov. 17, Columbia County was awarded $400,000 to assist in continuing efforts to protect the town of Bloomsburg from devastating flood events. Gordner remarked that the significant state dollars “set the stage for major improvements to current flood protections for the town of Bloomsburg. This includes the hopeful expansion of the flood wall in the west end upon completion of all impact studies and models.”

High Pointe Commons adds Fleet Feet franchise, reups Christmas Tree Shops

High Pointe Commons, 4600-4680 High Pointe Blvd., Harrisburg, Pa. PHOTO PROVIDED

Commercial real estate services firm Levin Management Corp. announced a pair of transactions at High Pointe Commons, a 325,000-square-foot regional shopping center in Swatara Township.

Athletic shoe and apparel franchise Fleet Feet has leased 2,700 square feet, and a long-term lease extension for 35,000 square feet has been signed with junior anchor Christmas Tree Shops.

Fred Younkin, leasing representative with Levin Management, arranged both transactions on behalf of the property’s ownership.

A release said that Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally owned and operated running stores in the country. The High Pointe Commons Fleet Feet is owned by Fred and Shelby Joslyn, who also own Fleet Feet in Mechanicsburg.

“High Pointe Commons is an exciting place for us to be,” Fred Joslyn said. “We are committed to building relationships. As a local business, it’s important for us to be involved in the community, and we are passionate about helping others achieve their fitness goals. We hold many of our own runs and races each year, and lend support to other running events – something we look forward to continuing here.”

Also, specialty retailer Christmas Tree Shops – a tenant at the shopping center since 2007 – extended its commitment.

“Great things are happening at High Pointe Commons,” Younkin said. “Fleet Feet is a wonderful addition to the tenant mix and will attract even more customers to the center. Christmas Tree Shops has been a long-time presence at High Pointe Commons; this lease extension underscores the confidence that tenants have in the property as a business location.”

The latest transactions follow a recent lease with Sugaring NYC Organic Waxing & Lash Studio, which will open soon.

In addition, High Pointe Commons – off Exit 2 of Interstate 283 – includes shadow anchors Target and JCPenney, along with Orangetheory Fitness, Sally Beauty, Petco, T-Mobile, Lane Bryant, GameStop, Famous Footwear, GNC, Hair Cuttery and others.

The wide-ranging dining mix features Panera Bread, Subway, Chili’s, Tropical Smoothie Café, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Teriyaki Madness, Five Guys and Friendly’s.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Local home sales keep falling as inventory stays tight

Rising interest rates have applied the brakes on the local housing market, but a shortage of inventory is keeping prices up even as sales drop precipitously.


In Lancaster County, closed sales fell 11.5% in October, from 541 last year to 479 this year. Through the first 10 months of 2022, they are down 11.2%, from 5,249 to 4,663.

The median sold price was $301,500, up 9.6% from a year ago.

Average days on market was 20, four more than in October 2021, and the average sold to original list price ratio was 102.2%.

Of the homes that did sell last month, 281 were on the market no more than 10 days.

“We continue to have a shortage of inventory, which still has homes selling 2% above asking price on average, but the number of sales is continuing to decline at a steady and increasing rate,” Greg Bardell, 2022 president of the Lancaster County Association of Realtors, wrote in an email.

“With interest rates continuing to rise and sale prices rising, affordability is becoming a real issue,” he explained. “It is a metric we will want to be watching in the coming 12 to 18 months. Right now, stability of interest rates is more important. If we see a slowdown of the rate of increase of rates, we should see some stability of sales.”

Nationally, total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – decreased 5.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October, the National Association of Realtors reported. Year-over-year, sales in October dropped 28.4%.

“More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a release. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”


The Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties reported that the 1,041 houses sold in Adams County through October are a 1% decrease from this time last year. In York County, 5,576 homes were sold during the first 10 months of 2022, which is a 9% decrease.

In October alone, the 90 settlements in Adams were 16% fewer than a year ago, while the 517 houses sold in York were a 19% decline from October 2021.

Last month, the median sales price in Adams County was $279,750, an 8% increase since last year. In York County, the median sales price in York County was $246,000, also up 8%.

Elle Hale, 2022 president of the York-Adams association, said in a release that average mortgage rates in York and Adams counties were around 6.75% in October, double the rate from six months ago.

While rising mortgage rates continue to sideline buyers, lack of inventory remains an issue. “It’s kind of slim pickings,” she said in a phone interview.

Some homes are selling quickly but others are sitting on the market, Hale said.

As far as interest rates are concerned, she said, any drop is welcome news. In the week ending Nov. 17, according to Freddie Mac, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.61%, down from 7.08% the week before, the largest weekly drop since 1981. A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.10%.

Harrisburg area

Closed sales in October fell 20.9% in Cumberland County, from 321 to 254. The median sold price rose 10.2%, from $256,914 to $283,000; days on market averaged 18; and the average sold to original list price ratio was 100.2%.

In Dauphin County last month, closed sales dropped 18.2%, from 369 to 302, while the median sold price climbed 3.6%, from $210,900 to $218,500.

Days on market averaged 17, and average sold to OLP ratio was below asking price, at 98.9%.

In more rural Perry County, closed sales in October declined from 37 to 26; the median sold price rose $3,000 to $229,000; days on market averaged 20; and the average sold to OLP ratio was 96.9%.

“The number of homes receiving multiple offers and escalated prices has slowed,” Sylvia Hess, 2022 president of the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors, wrote in an email.

“Some of that is seasonal but the majority is due to a bit of a ‘wait and see’ mindset many buyers (and sellers alike) seem to be having.

“With mortgage rates more than doubling this year, and changing almost daily (sometimes up, sometimes down slightly), sellers are seeing properties remain on the market a bit longer and are becoming more realistic. Buyers, on the other hand, have more leverage in the market and increased negotiating power.”

Hess said if newly listed properties aren’t receiving showings in the first two weeks, “it’s likely that they are priced beyond the market” and an adjustment may be necessary.

“If a home remains on the market for 10 or more days,” she said, “buyers are better positioned to negotiate contracts with contingencies.”

Low housing inventory and limited new home construction also remain a challenge, Hess explained.

“Fluctuations in interest rates have had some buyers (and sellers) sideline themselves until they see things stabilize. The rise in interest rates in many cases has cut significantly into homebuyers’ purchasing power and causing some buyers to revisit their budgets.

“Ironically, though, those continuing their search have been finding opportunities in this market,” she noted, because of their increased leverage.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Three in central Pa. among top liquor license bidders

Following the latest restaurant license auction, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has issued Notices of Selection to the top bidders on 20 licenses, three of which are in central Pennsylvania.

The local top bidders, with the license’s municipality and county, are:

· Specialty Lenders Ltd., Steelton, Dauphin County, $110,000

· Byler Holdings LP, Lebanon, Lebanon County, $151,001

· CHR Corp., Spring Garden Township, York County, $300,000

The deadline for submitting bids was Oct. 31. Winning bids ranged from $25,111 for a license in Benezette Township, Elk County, to $460,751 for a license in Uwchlan, Chester County. The average winning bid was $154,833.

A total of 69 bids were received, and one license in Cambria County received no bids.

Top bidders have 14 days from the date of each Notice of Selection to submit full bid payment to the Liquor Control Board. If payment is not received in a timely manner, the second-highest bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the license.

Each auction winner has six months from the issuance of the Notice of Selection to file a license application with the Liquor Control Board. Bids are held in escrow pending approval of the license application.

Revenue from previous license auctions is $32.9 million, with another $100,000 in escrow.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Harrisburg, York community projects receive funding boost

Grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will be used for community projects in Harrisburg and York, it was announced Friday. 

Funds were awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, a commonwealth grant program overseen by the Office of the Budget to assist with regional cultural, economic, civic, and historical projects that improve a community’s economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities. 

State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, announced that four grants totaling $8.8 million will be used for community projects in her district. “This funding is incredibly important for Harrisburg’s growth,” said Kim. “I am happy to see these projects get the funding they need to break ground.” 

State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York County, said three community projects in York County are receiving $3.5 million in grants from the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program. Hill-Evans works with organizations in her district and those serving her district, encouraging them to submit grant applications. She also provides letters of support and follows up with state-level decision-makers to gain approval for the projects. 

Harrisburg projects to receive the funding include the following: 

  • $3 million to Reily GreenWorks for the development of studio lofts and apartments, as well as neighborhood-oriented retail on the ground floor. 
  • $1.5 million to Harrisburg Events Center to complete extensive renovations including the replacement of windows and doors, replacement of roof, conversion of third floor into a hospitality suite, and the renovation of the basement to include a kitchen, distribution office and meeting space. 
  • $2.75 million to Harristown Enterprise Inc. for the renovation of the Harristown Agriculture Building. This project entails substantial interior demolition and abatement of hazardous materials used in older building construction, as well as core and shell construction. 
  • $1.6 million to Millworks Historic Campus Preservation for the restoration of the restaurant and surrounding area. The restoration project will entail the rehabilitation of 1321 N. Fourth St., currently vacant, and the conversion of Sayford St. into an outdoor gathering space. 

York projects receiving funding include: 

  • $2 million to Crispus Attucks York to construct a History and Culture Center which will explore, document, and showcase the African American story and its impact on York City as well as African Americans’ important place in and contributions to American history. 
  • $500,00 to Precision Custom Components, LLC to renovate a portion of the deteriorated old manufacturing space at 160 North Hartley St. into usable manufacturing areas. When completed, this facility will be capable of manufacturing a variety of custom products for the defense and energy industries. 
  • $1 million to Zion Lutheran Church to redevelop the exterior and interior, create an event space, and extend the campus of the Yorktowne Hotel. Construction will include restoration of the interior vestibule, assembly hall, balcony, double curved stairways, cemetery vaults, wooden newel posts, balustrades, rib-vaulted ceilings and detailed wooden doors.