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September 2009 Central Pennsylvania Real Estate Report

by Don Roth

Hello to fall. I’m looking out the window as I write this report after just having come in from the outside and the feel of fall is in the air. I’m sure there will be many of non-fall like temperatures in the coming weeks. We hope!

I am pleased to report the real estate activity for September 2009 compared to September 2008 and the anticipated improvement that I have been speaking about in the past few months is coming to fruition. In addition to the improvement in the real estate market, I have made, I hope, an improvement of how the results are formatted. I have changed the format from municipality to school district because more and more buyers are looking at school districts rather than the municipality. Hopefully, this will give a better comparison since in many instance the school districts overlap more than one municipality. I hope you will find this change beneficial.

The number of homes sold in September 2009 compared to September 2008 declined by 3%, and the average sales price declined by the same 3%. These numbers are the best year over year numbers that we have seen in the Greater Harrisburg Market in some time, and although the coming months may not totally reflect that trend, I think it is again giving home buyers and sellers a true indication of what we can expect in 2010. The average sales price for the area for September was $187,007, and the days on market increased to 78 days. The number of homes available in all residential categories increased slightly to 4,271 properties.

The trend in the type of financing, FHA and VA mortgages, was 45% of the total transaction compared to 27% in 2008. Much of this is still due to the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, which will expire November 30, 2009; more on that later. But in retrospect, these results are improving and again that trend should continue.

Average Sales Price: September 2008 vs 2009
West Shore
School District
Days on Market
Camp Hill
Cumberland Valley
West Shore
East Pennsboro
East Shore
Central Dauphin
Derry Township
Lower Dauphin


As can be seen in this report, as well as previous reports, the variances in price and days on market can be substantial on a month to month basis, but overall, the numbers are representative and only a comparison by neighborhoods will give you the specifics for areas that a buyer or seller may be looking. If you need specific details on neighborhoods, please contact me at

With respect to the continuation of the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit beyond November 30, please click on the following link

First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit May Be Extended

by Don Roth

Legislators in Congress are considering some type of the popular First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit past the November 30, 2009 deadline. In my opinion, for the buyers and sellers in the Greater Harrisburg, PA region, this would be an excellent event since we have seen the positive effects in this area. Knowing how long it takes to accomplish the passage of legislation in Washington, this is not a given and if you are buyers who qualify for the current tax credit, you may want to contact you local legislator and encourage the extension beyond November 30. Please read the article from the attached link. And if I can answer any questions concerning who qualifies, please contact me at

Click Here to View Article

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