The real estate market is really bad and no one is able to sell their house. Sellers are losing money on their homes or every home that is selling is a foreclosure, and those homes are depressing the values of the homes around it. How many times have we seen something similar in the paper or on the nightly news?

Well the market in Central Pennsylvania from Carlisle to Hershey and in Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry and northern York Counties has changed, but the news isn’t all bad. Yes, the number of sold homes has decreased in 2008 compared to 2007 and 2006. The number of sold homes has decreased by about 30% during the mid-May to mid-June 2008 time period and the average sales price had declined $203 per home, but the AVERAGE SALES PRICE in 2008 is HIGHER by about $3000 compared to the same period of 2006. And although sales are down right now, this trend will reverse itself in time. Yet when we see the numbers of 20% decrease or more of valuations in states like California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida, the above numbers give us the realization that local Central Pennsylvania market will rebound on firm footing. “It’s a ‘back-to-basics’ market,” says PAR consulting economist Austin Jaffe, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Insurance and Real Estate at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. “The era of easy money and exotic mortgages never took hold among homebuyers in the Commonwealth, so prices in Pennsylvania never increased as much or as quickly in other markets. There’s no reason to expect that prices will fall as much or as rapidly here.” “This is the beginning of a new period in the housing market - or a new ‘old’ period where consumers buy homes to live in and use as long-term investments, not as a get-rich-quick scheme,” adds Jaffe.

This real estate market, as far back as I can remember, never followed the substantial increases that some national markets experienced and therefore never experienced the falling of the cliff syndrome when these or similar markets corrected. Whether you live in Derry Township, the city of Harrisburg, Hampden Township or Lower Paxton Township, you will see a rebound in activity and an increased valuation for your homes in the future. I have been asked by many and they say that they want to move up to a larger home, but the value of their home may have decreased. That may be true. However, before they could purchase the next home, they had to sell their existing home but they still had to find a buyer. Now despite what you hear that there is no available credit for home buyers – FALSE – the lenders along with some of the governmental agencies have or are working on new programs to assist buyers in arranging financing packages for buyers to purchase homes. The credit standards are higher than in past years, but there is money available for you and your family – so take advantage and don’t let the negativity of the press prevent you from buying your next home. You and I cannot stop the constant beat of the national market, but I will on a regular basis give you the real news in our local market.

If you have any real estate related questions, or if you are considering buying or selling a home, do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 717-579-2879 or via email at or view the information at