The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported March data shows that we can comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for residential real estate in 2017.
Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for March 2017.
“There was certainly plenty to worry over when the year began,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Aside from new national leadership in Washington, DC, and the policy shifts that can occur during such transitions, there was also the matter of continuous low housing supply, steadily rising mortgage rates and ever-increasing home prices.”
Nevertheless, Porembo added, sales have held their own in year-over-year comparisons and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle.
While inventory levels continued to shrink – inventory was down 45 percent in March to 1,953 units – the first quarter ended with promising stats. Pending sales were up 20.6 percent to 859 and closed sales increased 13.7 percent to 616. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 4.8 percent to $175,000. Days on Market was down 13.0 percent to 67 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 48.2 percent to 2.9 months.
“With the final snow storm behind us, our REALTOR® members are comparing recent activity to a dam bursting,” said Cass Chies, President of GLVR. “We’ve been anticipating this increase in activity. The weather has improved and sellers have caught wind that the market is leaning in their favor. We have sellers ready to take advantage of the market and buyers ready for new inventory.”
Porembo and Chies agree that consumer confidence is on the rise.
“As the economy improves, home sales tend to go up,” Chies said. “It isn't much more complex than that right now. Rising mortgage rates could slow growth eventually, but rate increases should be thought of as little more than a byproduct of a stronger economy and stronger demand.”
In Carbon County, the median sales price rose 37.2 percent to $112,500. Closed sales were down 13.6 percent, and inventory levels shrank 36.4 percent to 278 units. Months Supply of Inventory was down 42 percent to 5.8 months. Days on Market decreased 22 percent to 99 days.