The Lancaster County Association of REALTORS (LCAR) has released their latest market report. The most recent figures are for March and the first quarter of 2013. There were 929 sales in the first quarter, up 6.1% from the 876 units sold in the first quarter of 2012.
The average sale price for a Lancaster County home in March was $172,493, an increase of 2.3% over the March 2012 price of $168,628. For the first quarter of 2013, the average sale price was $176,263, up 3.2% from March the previous year.
The median sale price (half the properties sold below the number; half above) for March 2013 is $160,000, as opposed to $155,000 in March 2012. Those comparable figures were the same for the first quarter as well.
For March, the number of new listings decreased 11.9% from 817 in March 2012 to 720 in March this year. For the first quarter, new listings decreased 8.3%, from 2,161 in March 2012 to 1981 in March 2013. This indicates a tightening of inventory, and a shift from a market which has been clearly tilted toward buyers, to one that is somewhat more balanced between buyers and sellers.
The National Association of REALTORS Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation. With lower rental vacancy rates, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes.”
A poll of local lenders revealed an average commitment rate of 3.38% on conventional 30-year loans, and 2.65% for 15-year conventional loans as of April 30. I’ve been in the business for many years and have never seen rates like this!