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The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported August data showed the shortage of homes for sale has boosted competition for available properties and is driving sales prices higher, with the Median Sales Price for August ($331,750) just missing the local record set in June ($335,000).

GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for August 2023.

“Economists have been calling on the new-home market to make up for the supply deficits in the real estate market,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “It is critical to expand supply as much as possible to widen access to home buying. Home prices will be influenced by how much inventory is brought to market. Increased homebuilding will tame price growth, while limited construction will lead to home price appreciation outpacing income growth.”

August Stats

Closed Sales dipped 16.6 percent to 644 listings. Inventory slipped 34.8 percent – there were 588 units in August for Lehigh and Northampton counties. With inventory still not at sufficient, comfortable levels, the Median Sales Price increased 5.0 percent to $331,750.

Other notable housing statistics for August include:

  • New Listings dropped 12.1 percent to 703.
  • Pending Sales were down 10.7 percent to 649.
  • Months Supply of Inventory slid 15.4 percent to 1.1 months.
  • Percentage of List Price Received increased 1.2 percent, coming in at 102.4 percent.
  • Homes sold, on average, in 15 days, the same amount of days as the previous August.

In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased to $250,858. Closed Sales dipped by just six listings, coming in at 62. Pending Sales decreased to 59. New Listings slipped three listings to 77. Despite inventory dropping to 136 units, Months Supply of Inventory increased to 2.4 months. Days on Market increased to 34 days vs. 26 days the previous August.

In addition to needing expansion – and affordability – in the new-home market, higher mortgage rates are also creating a standstill in the local real estate market, according to GLVR President Howard Schaeffer.

“Higher mortgage rates are having a so-called ‘golden handcuff effect,’ discouraging homeowners who locked in low rates a few years ago from selling,” Schaeffer said. “This has created an inventory logjam in the housing market. 82% of home buyers say they feel ‘locked in’ by their existing low-rate mortgage, according to a survey from®. While significant movement toward the ultra-low 2% or 3% averages are not expected over the immediate horizon, the National Association of REALTORS® forecasts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could reach 6.4% by the end of the year, followed by 6% in 2024.”