January 14, 2020

Housing Market Hits Record Low for Months Supply of Inventory

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported December data showed the Lehigh Valley housing market ending the year on a high note, with increases in closed sales, prices, and the percentage of list price received.
GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for December 2019.
“With low mortgage rates, low unemployment, and continued wage growth, home buyer activity is expected to remain healthy into the new year,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Prices in the Lehigh Valley shouldn’t scare off buyers, as mortgage rates ended the year close to three-quarters of a percent lower than a year ago, helping to improve affordability and offset rising home prices.”

New construction and sellers of existing homes are still needed, though.

“New construction has been on the rise in 2019 and is expected to continue into 2020, but many experts note that the country – and the Lehigh Valley – is still not building enough new units to quench demand,” said GLVR’s 2019 President, Carl Billera. “It remains to be seen whether existing homeowners will be enticed to sell by higher home prices, which could finally bring the overall housing market into greater balance.”

This is particularly important to watch as the balance in the Lehigh Valley housing market leans heavily toward a seller’s market. The Months Supply of Inventory for Lehigh and Northampton counties in December came in at just 1.8 months – the lowest on record since GLVR began tracking statistical housing data in 1996.

In a housing market balanced between buyers and sellers, the Months Supply of Inventory is between six and seven months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. This means that at December’s sales pace, it would take 1.8 months to sell all the homes on the market in the Lehigh Valley.

Notable Market Stats for December

Closed Sales increased 10.2 percent to 626. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.3 percent to $200,000. Sellers were encouraged with the Percentage of List Price Received increasing 0.4 percent to 97.8 percent. Days on Market remained flat – but fast – at 42 days.

New Listings decreased 7.3 percent to 422. Pending Sales were down 4.3 percent to 449. Inventory levels shrank 25.4 percent to 1,284 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that was down 25.0 percent to 1.8 months.

Carbon County ended the year with increases across the board (except for Inventory, of course). The Median Sales Price increased to $151,000. Closed Sales were up to 60. Pending Sales climbed to 47. New Listings jumped to 60. There was a decrease in Inventory, as mentioned, which came in at 271 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 4.0 months.