June 11, 2020

May Numbers Tick Upward as Real Estate Reopens

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported May data showed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on an industry in Pennsylvania that was deemed non-essential, but the numbers also show an improvement over the previous month, as Governor Tom Wolf finally reopened real estate – with precautions – on May 19.

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

“With real estate reopen in Pennsylvania, we anticipate the local housing market to rebound rather quickly,” said Justin Porembo, GLVR CEO. “For a market that was low on inventory prior to the pandemic, we’re already seeing that repressed demand is equating to a wave of showings. Sales won’t be lost. They’ll just be shifted.”
 
With data now available for the month of May, which saw 19 days of real estate being shut down, Lehigh and Northampton counties saw New Listings decrease 39.9 percent to 724. Pending Sales were down 40.1 percent to 556. Inventory levels shrank 40.6 percent to 1,094 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that was down 30.8 percent to 1.8 months.
 
For the homes that did sell, home prices were up and Days on Market remained fast. The Median Sales Price increased 3.9 percent to $214,990. Days on Market was down 5.4 percent to 35 days.
 
In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased to $160,000. Closed Sales were down to 32. Pending Sales dropped to 55. For New Listings, there were 95. Inventory dropped to 217 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 3.7 months.
 
“Buyers have been quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers, who have been showing a bit more reluctance to list their homes than is typical for this time of year, but the Lehigh Valley area was already strapped for sellers pre-COVID,” said Jack Gross, President of GLVR. “But trends are improving, and we expect real estate activity to continue to recover in the coming weeks.”
 
Porembo and Gross both emphasized that real estate is safe in the age of COVID-19. All area REALTORS® have access to suggested best practices that outline how to keep everyone involved in a real estate transaction safe. Should any consumer – whether they be a home buyer or seller – be interested in learning how they and their REALTOR® can work together to create a safe environment for a real estate transaction, additional information is available at parealtors.org/coronavirus/best-practices.