Completed home sales in Pennsylvania fall for third straight quarter

Pennsylvania completed home sales fell during every quarter so far this year.
Pennsylvania completed home sales fell during every quarter so far this year. | Contributed photo

Completed home sales in Pennsylvania fell for the third straight quarter, a report by the state's Independent Fiscal Office said.

The office reported a 1.1 percent decline in completed home sales in the third quarter this year. The second quarter reported a 2 percent decline, and the third reported a 4.3 percent decline.

This is the first time the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors has published the year-over-year growth rate for home sales in the Commonwealth.

One factor that contributed to falling sales was the “polar vortex” seen throughout the country at the start of the year. The brutal winter season likely delayed home purchases, slowing down sales, the fiscal office said.

Other reasons were economic, including student loan debt, flat wages and tighter lending standards, all hindering first-time homebuyers from entering the market.

Falling foreclosures in recent quarters also brought down home sales, the fiscal office said. Properties with subprime loans that were made before the Great Recession hit could have made it through the foreclosure process already and been resold.

The fiscal office expected home sales to increase in 2015 based on “pent-up demand” and an increasing number of homes on the market.

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