The housing statistics for the suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are in and the results show that there is still some decline in real estate sales in the area. The number of homes sold in 2009 declined by 20% compared to the same period in 2008, and the area saw a decrease in the average sales price of 7% in the same period. The sales results cover all of Dauphin (except Harrisburg), Cumberland and Perry Counties and portions of Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties. These results continue the trend the area experienced for the last half of 2008.

But there is good news on the horizon since the number of pending sales (sold although not yet settled) increased from December 2008 to the end of January 2009 by approximately 9%. And many of us are seeing increased buyer activity and additional properly priced homes come onto the market. In addition, there is some positive news out of Washington to assist both home buyers and sellers for 2009. In November 2008, The National Association of Realtors® put forth a recommendation that the $7500 tax credit for first time home buyers be expanded to all home buyers and that the tax credit be replaced with just a plain credit, meaning that there would not be any repayment vehicle attached for any buyer. This idea has taken form in Washington and it has a good chance of becoming part of the President’s Stimulus Package working its way through Congress. And there also appears that Congress may look favorably on crafting a mortgage program where mortgage rates could go as low as 4 or 4 1/2% this year.

So when looking into the future I see better times ahead for both home buyers and home sellers. It will not happen overnight but the landscape is looking much brighter for people that are looking into real estate. STAY TUNED.