August 05, 2016

Lehigh Valley homes are selling faster than they have in the past several years, despite rising prices

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported July data that shows the valley’s real estate market took off like a firework, with homes staying on the market for far fewer days, even as home prices rose in many communities.

Click HERE to view the full Market Update for July 2016.

Days on the market dropped 9.8 percent versus a year ago to 55 days. Prices continued to gain traction as the Median Sales Price rose 2.2 percent to $186,000, and pending sales shot up 13.4 percent from 701 to 795. Average sales price slipped 0.9 percent to $211,788. The percentage of list price received was relatively stable, up 0.6 percent to 97.5 percent when compared to July 2015.
 
The issue of low housing supply was again a cause for concern as it has been for nearly all of 2016 — with many areas falling behind last year’s closed sales totals simply because of the lack of inventory. Closed sales fell 11.4 percent from 806 to 714 and new listings slipped 16.9 percent from 1,299 to 1,080. Months supply tumbled yet again, falling 42.3 percent to 4.5 months and inventory fell 36.3 percent from 4,694 units to 2,990.
 
“Buyers in the valley are now faced with a real estate reality that they haven’t seen in awhile — they need to move fast in order to get that home they want, and they may have to pay more for it,” explains Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® CEO Justin Porembo. “Based on the strong numbers we’re seeing, it seems like it’s a reality they are financially prepared for.”
 
“We love to see this trend of gradually rising home prices, but the key word is ‘gradually’,” points out Chris Raad, President of Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®.  “While increasing prices generally convince more homeowners to sell their homes, there comes a point where if the prices get too high they actually cause hesitancy among potential sellers who worry that they will not be able to buy a desirable and reasonably priced home once they sell. Slow and steady is key, and I’m happy to say that’s where our market is at today.”
 
In Carbon County, inventory followed the trend and was down 29.1 percent to 411 units, while new listings also dropped 23.3 percent to 92. Days on market slid 30.7 percent to 88 days.