Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Lancaster County PA: Home Sale Increase May Be Misleading - 2011 September

Lancaster County PA: Home Sale Increase May Be Misleading - 2011 September

Lancaster County PA: Home Sale Increase May Be Misleading - 2011 September

The Lancaster County Association of REALTORS®  (LCAR) has released a report showing that 345 homes settled in July 2011, a 21.1% increase over the 285 homes sold in July 2010.  While an increase like this is encouraging, it masks the distortion of the Federal tax credit program last year.

In 2010, homes that were under agreement by April 30, that settled no later than June 30, were eligible for up to $8,000. tax credits.  This was a great incentive for buyers to schedule their settlements before the end of June 2010.  The result was that sales that might have otherwise gone into July 2010 were compressed into June settlements so that the tax credit would not be lost.

The effect of this artificial increase in June 2010, was a depressed level of July 2010 settlements.  Hence the percentage increase for July 2011 is somewhat overstated.  Nonetheless, there does seem to be an increased level of interest by homebuyers.

               "Increased Consumer Interest Bodes Well for Local Home Sales"

LANCASTER—According to a report released today by the Lancaster County Association of Realtors®  (LCAR), 345 homes sold in July of this year, a 21.1 percent increase from the 285 sales in July 2010. During the first seven months of the year, there was a 12.2 percent decrease from the 2,518 sales in 2010 to 2,210 in 2011.

Pending sales, homes that went under contract in the month of July,  increased 15.5 percent from 348 in 2010 to 402 in 2011. Over 52 percent of homes that sold in July were on the market 60 days or less.  The $180,678 average sale price for July 2011 is a 13.6 percent decrease compared to the July 2010 price tag of $209,023 (the highest single monthly average sale price recorded). The median sale price for the month in 2011 is $165,000 versus $184,000 for July 2010 (half of the properties sold during this period sold above that number, and half sold below). When comparing July 2001 to 2011, the average sale price increased 40.4 percent from $128,699 in 2001.  There was a 4.5 percent increase in the number of new listings from 685 in July 2010 to 716 in July 2011. The five-year average number of new listings for July was 734.

“Since trying to determine trends at this point by comparing 2010 to 2011 is difficult due to the effects of last year’s government-sponsored tax credits, we are predicting increased activity based on higher numbers of internet page views, greater volumes of calls, increased traffic at open houses and Government promises that interest rates will remain low into 2013,” said LCAR president, Glenn Yoder.  “Many offices throughout the County report that the public is expressing renewed interest in housing through the initial phases of the home ownership process.”

Year over year Lancaster County Pending Home Sales

Pending Lancaster County Homes Sales - July 2011


Year over year Lancaster County Home Sales

Absorbtion rate - Lancaster County home sales - July 2011



Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 2 commentsBrian Schulman • September 01 2011 07:34PM


Brian....I believe this scenerio you describe occured in a lot of communities accross the nation. Realty stats in general can be misleading.

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) over 7 years ago

Trey, I'm sure you're right, because this was a phenomenon that was caused by Federal policy.  The results were short-term because the tax credits did nothing to change the underlying economic problems.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 7 years ago