November 14, 2016
Lehigh Valley Housing Market Continues Battle Over Inventory
The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®
(GLVR) reported October data shows that, as we enter the final quarter of 2016, not much has changed since the year began.
Click HERE for the full Market Update for October 2016.
“Market predictions have been, in a word, predictable,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “A relatively comfortable pace of activity has been maintained thanks to continuing low unemployment and mortgage rates.”
However, Porembo noted, the one basic drag on market acceleration has been inventory decline. “There is little to indicate that the low inventory situation will resolve anytime soon,” he said, as inventory levels in October shrank 41.4 percent to 2,608 units.
New listings decreased 8.6 percent to 868. Pending sales were up 8.5 percent to 678. Closed sales were up 0.7 percent to 687. Prices continued to gain traction. The median sales price increased 1.5 percent to $174,000. Days on market was down 22.9 percent to 54 days, and sellers were encouraged as months supply of inventory was down 45.8 percent to 3.9 months.
Confounding the inventory issue, according to GLVR President Christopher Raad, is that while builder confidence is as high as it has been in more than a decade, the pace of economic growth has been slow enough to cause pause.
“A low number of first-time buyer purchases and a looming demographic shift also seem to be curbing the desire to start new single-family construction projects,” Raad said. “As older Americans retire and downsize, single-family listings are expected to rise. The waiting is the hardest part.”
In Carbon County, new listings declined 4.9 percent to 78. Prices ticked up ever-so-slightly with a 0.2 percent increase to $101,250. Inventory also remained low, sliding 33 percent to 370 units.