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RSR: We know 'the glass is half-full' when it comes to Central Pennsylvania real estate

January 3, 2013

Are you a glass half-full person?

When it comes to real estate, it pays to be.

Whether you’re a renter thinking about your first home, a family needing more space or an empty nesters looking for a smaller place that’s easier to maintain, there’s never been a better time to buy and sell.

Not convinced? Consider: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, housing prices in the Central Pennsylvania area are on the rise and December’s employment report showed Pennsylvania had the largest drop in joblessness in nearly 30 years.

At RSR Realtors, we know the market and how to get results – and we know now is a great time to realize your housing dreams. We realized it’s time to lift our voices above the naysayers and doubters and point to a simple truth: Real estate makes as much sense today as ever.

With that simple truth in mind we’re kicking off “Operation Glass Half Full,’’ aimed at reminding everyone that while there are challenges out there, there are more reasons to be optimistic, especially when it comes to property.

“We decided that the only way out of this economic malaise is to do it ourselves,’’ said Greg Rothman, president and CEO of RSR Realtors. “We invite our past, present and future real estate clients to join us to Bring America Back starting here in Pennsylvania.’’

To help remind everyone that many times the difference between success and failure depends on how you look at a situation, RSR is giving out glasses that remain half full.

This isn’t just blind optimism – RSR has good reason to be positive about real estate in Central Pennsylvania. Here’s some “glass half full’’ facts:

  • Over the last 12 months ending in October, home prices rose 4.3 percent, with most markets throughout the country showing stead price growth, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices 


  • In Central Pennsylvania, the number of home sold increased 11 percent between July and September, marking the fifth quarter in a row the number of homes sold in the Harrisburg area increased. 


  • More Pennsylvanians are finding work – November marked the largest decrease in the state’s unemployment rate since 1983 and the state’s unemployment rate declined to 7.8 percent – 6.8 percent for Central Pennsylvania.  


  • Mortgage rates remain at near record lows, with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage available for 3.35 percent .

“There’s a lot of bad news people hear out there, but it’s important to keep in mind that Central Pennsylvania has a lot of strengths: We have a great work force, stable job base, fantastic communities and even in the worse parts of the recession, our housing prices did not see the decreases experienced by other areas of the country,’’ Rothman said.

“Real estate still makes sense, whether you’re a buyer or seller. If you’re renting and buy your own home, chance are your mortgage will be about the same as your rent, but now instead of throwing money away, you’ll be building equity,’’ Rothman said. “If you’re selling your house, now is a great time because prices are starting to rise and the low interest rates mean buyers can afford more.’’

Founded in 1970, RSR Realtors knows firsthand what it’s like to weather tough times, from Hurricane Agnes, oil shortages, and Three Mile Island to battling through a period of 18 percent interest rates through the housing bubble and Great Recession.

But key in all this is to remember that we always get through the tough times and the only certainty is that those who don’t try will always fail.

“A glass at 50 percent capacity will always be “half-full” to those of us at RSR REALTORS®.  We are optimists and we know optimism is contagious,’’ Rothman said. “We will talk about 93 percent  employment, the lowest interest rates in history and the incredible natural resources and quality of life in the Susquehanna Valley.’’