October 16, 2016

Closed home sales in the Lehigh Valley see slight boost as demand booms

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported September data shows that, as anticipated at the outset of the year, demand has remained high through the first three quarters of 2016, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reduction in inventory and months of supply.

Click HEREto view the full Market Update for September 2016.

Closed sales finished out the third quarter with a 5.7 percent increase over the same time last year, and prices continued to gain traction with the Median Sales Price showing at $181,000, an increase of 6.5 percent from the year prior.
 
“With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable for the rest of the year but not guaranteed,” explained Justin Porembo, CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®. “The market typically slows down as temperatures dip and winter weather becomes a factor, but we’re optimistic that the high demand for homes will continue to result in positive sale gains.”
 
Inventory continued to dwindle – the consistent story over the past year – with a 42.3 percent decrease to 2,682 units, compared to 4,651 units the year prior. Days on Market was down 18.5 percent to 53 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 47.4 percent to 4.0 months.
 
“Today’s demand is driven by three factors: Millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, growing families are looking for larger homes or, adversely, individuals who are looking to downsize,” said Christopher Raad, president of the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®. However, Raad notes, intriguingly low interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower inventory. Recent studies have also shown that short-term rentals are keeping a collection of homes off the market.
 
The Carbon County data shows closed sales down 19.6 percent and new listings down 36.7 percent. Average sales price dipped slightly, falling 4.4 percent to $132,736, with percentage of list price received at 94.0 percent.