Carlisle, South Middleton homes selling faster than in years

Carlisle, South Middleton homes selling faster than in years

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Housing prices are up across Central Pennsylvania, but one local Realtor says he’s seen growth in unexpected places — Carlisle and South Middleton Township.

“Selling houses in Carlisle and South Middleton, I have seen a lot more traffic and sales than I have in past years,” said Michael E. Pion, president of the Greater Harrisburg Area Association of Realtors. “One of things that happened in Carlisle, when Silver Spring and Hampden get busy and when their values go up, some people want that new house but don’t want to pay $450,000 or $500,000. They tend to look further out.”

Cumberland County’s median home price is $180,700, while U.S. Census data indicates that homes in Carlisle are worth about $10,000 less than the county average.

Still, though, Pion says the West Shore dominates the sales market.

“The West Shore seems to be trending more sales and more appreciation across the board than the East Shore,” he said.

The Association says 1,343 homes sold in Cumberland County during the first and second quarters of this year, a trend Pion says will slow as the summer months continue.

“I think the third quarter will still be good,” Pion said. “Do I think it’s going be as good as first and second? Probably not. In July things tend to slow down because people go on vacation in the summer.”

Sales across the Midstate — including Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties — rose 12.3 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same time frame in 2012. Pion says the latest numbers mark the eighth consecutive increase in home sales.

“I think a lot of people were sitting on the fence and were just waiting to see if the market was going to improve,” he said. “When the media started saying that things are starting to turn around, it made people feel a little bit more comfortable and the rates were low, so that definitely helped.”

Nationwide, home sales jumped 9.7 percent from April 2012 to April 2013, while May sales saw a 12.9 percent increase.

The number of days homes in our area stayed on the market also dropped significantly in the second quarter realtors say, from 114 days to just 102 days.

“The second quarter sales statistics show many positive signs for the greater Harrisburg-area real estate market,” said Robert S. Hamilton, broker/owner of RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Harrisburg. “Not only have sales and median price continued to increase, but the average days on market has declined and the number of homes under contract at the end of the second quarter is the second highest all time.”

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