April 14, 2020

Effects of Pandemic on Real Estate Industry Begin to Show in Market Stats

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported March data showed familiar trends in the local housing market but also the beginning effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on an industry in Pennsylvania deemed non-essential.

GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for March 2020.

“With an expected slowdown in spring real estate business activity, many of our Realtors® remain hopeful for a post-pandemic market rebound,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “There still remains the need to relocate for a new career, to downsize or to go bigger, and other reasons to be active in the housing market. The majority of our Realtors® believe buyers and sellers will return to the market following the end of this health crisis.”

Home sales will decline this spring season because of unique economic and social consequences resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, according to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, but much of the activity looks to reappear later in the year.

With being labeled as non-essential, REALTORS®, buyers and sellers are getting creative and adapting to a vastly growing virtual world, according to Jack Gross, 2020 president of GLVR.

“A large number of buyer and seller clients are tapping into social media, live video, and virtual tours,” Gross said. “If you are a buyer or seller who needs to stay in the housing market, despite the current circumstances, there is a way to do a virtual showing that complies with Governor Tom Wolf’s stay at home order. This can be accomplished by the use of existing photographs or videos, by the seller taking photos or videos for that purpose, or by the sellers themselves facilitating a live video walk-through of a property. We encourage sellers – and buyers – to work with their REALTOR® to find new, safe, virtual and compliant ways to show or see properties.”

Notable Market Stats for March

Closed Sales were down 9.0 percent to 554. The Median Sales Price increased 10.6 percent to $210,000. Sellers were encouraged with the Percentage of List Price Received increasing 1.2 percent to 98.7 percent. Days on Market remained fast at 43 days.

New Listings decreased 24.7 percent to 722. Pending Sales were down 19.5 percent to 623. Inventory levels shrank 39.5 percent to 1,004 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that was down 41.7 percent to 1.4 months.

In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased to $156,450. Closed Sales were up to 80. Pending Sales dropped to 62. There was a dip in New Listings, which came in at 73, and Inventory dropped to 206 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 3.1 months.