This lead in could be filed under “dog bites man,” because it's something most of us already know.

We are referring to recent data from the National Association of Realtors that show the time to sell a home is shrinking. According to the NAR, the time to sell for traditional sellers is back within historic norms: the median time a home was listed fell to 69 days in July, down from 98 days a year earlier.

Of course, national numbers often hold little meaning to any particular local market. In fact, the NAR's data range harrisburg pa real estatefrom one-third of the homes were listed for less than a month, while one in five homes was listed for at least six months. The positive takeaway is that more homes in more markets are selling at a quicker pace. What's more, that pace appears to be accelerating.

The price of many homes listed for sale is also accelerating. Clear Capital reports that home prices are up 2.9% year over year in August. Clear Capital cites fewer REO properties coming to market due to new borrower-friendly legislation and the $25 billion lenders' settlement with the federal government.

That's really only part of the story, though, and gives short sales the short shrift, because many lenders are simply finding it more remunerative to engage in short sales than foreclosure and REO sales.

While we are on the subject of sales and prices, Trulia reports that national asking prices on for-sale homes, which precede actual sales prices by two or more months, increased 2.3% year over year in August. Gains were widespread, with 68 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas Trulia follows reporting price increases.

Trulia's data are particularly encouraging, because they are a leading indicator of future home sales (where we are going is much more important than where we've been). Therefore, we would be surprised if home-price gains and the housing recovery were not to persist into fall.

That said, lending could be the monkey wrench that grinds the recovery gears to a halt. Participation is the issue, and it is akin to the observation “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” Rates are low, but not enough borrowers are able to take advantage of them.

We've mentioned many times over the past year that the issue isn't low lending rates at this point: it's a dearth of borrower-buyers. If only the same people can access credit at these low rates, these low rates become meaningless. A less restrictive lending environment would do much more to accelerate the recovery than historic low rates.

Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

Search all Harrisburg PA homes for sale.

When you are buying or selling property in today's Harrisburg PA real estate market, it's important to have confidence in your real estate professional. Don’s commitment as your Harrisburg PA REALTOR® is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve.

When you are an informed buyer or seller, you'll make the best decisions for the most important purchase or sale in your lifetime. That's why Don’s goal is to keep you informed on trends in Harrisburg PA real estate. With property values continuing to rise, real estate is a sound investment for now and for the future.

As a local area expert with knowledge of Harrisburg PA area communities, Don’s objective is to work diligently to assist you in meeting your real estate goals.

If you are considering buying or selling a home or would just like to have additional information about real estate in your area, please don't hesitate to call me at (717) 657-8700, complete my online form, or e-mail me at