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York County home sales fall 18 percent midway in ’11

The York County housing market continues its tumble as midyear numbers released Monday show an 18 percent decrease from 2010.

Through June, a total of 1,680 homes were sold, down from 2,049 through six months of 2010, the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties said.

The median sale price also dropped 7 percent to $140,000 from $150,000 in 2010, the report said.

The bright spot for York County sales was in the South Eastern School District, where sales were up 20 percent — 78 units were sold — from the 2010 total of 65 through June.

The biggest price jump was in the Northern York County School District, where sale prices increased to $204,500 from $172,950 — an 18 percent gain.

“The market is being constrained by the lending community and distressed home selling at discounts,” Marty Sowa, president of the association, said in a statement.

The volume of buyers has dropped from where it was in 2010, local real estate professionals have said. A federal homebuyers’ tax credit that provided an $8,000 incentive to first-time buyers was still available until April 30, 2010.

There also is concern about a number of proposals being considered in Washington, Sowa said. Among them is a proposed reform as part of last year’s Dodd-Frank Act that could require steep minimum down payments.

Dodd-Frank is a 2,300-page federal law that regulates financial institutions ranging from Wall Street to banks to mortgage lenders.

The reform criteria would require lenders to retain 5 percent ownership of loans they originate unless the “qualified residential mortgage” has a minimum down payment of 20 percent. The proposal also contains strict debt-to-income ratios and borrower credit history restrictions.

These proposals could “further jeopardize the housing recovery,” Sowa said.

 

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