December 12, 2019

Despite Increase in New Housing Permits, Inadequate Inventory Stalling Buyers

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported November data shows more of the same with prices up, inventory down, and closed sales steady.
GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for November 2019.
“Heading into 2020, real estate in the Lehigh Valley is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “However, in order for the market to be healthier, more supply is needed to assure home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains.”

With that said, the U.S. Commerce Department reports that new housing permits rose 5 percent in October to a new 12-year high of 1.46 million units. But additional work needs to be done to address and, more importantly, correct inadequate levels of inventory.

“Increased home building can serve as a stimulator for the overall economy, and we strongly encourage more homes to be built as buyer demand remains strong,” said GLVR President Carl Billera. “There is no shortage of buyers seeking homes, but a lack of available units continues to drag down the market, not only in the Lehigh Valley, but across the country.”

Notable Market Stats for November

New Listings decreased 9.6 percent to 614. Pending Sales were up 18.0 percent to 656. Inventory levels shrank 29.2 percent to 1,488 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that was down 33.3 percent to 2.0 months.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.1 percent to $205,000. Days on Market was down 10.5 percent to 34 days. Closed Sales dipped just 1.5 percent – or 11 properties – to 700.

In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased to $157,500. Closed Sales were up – by two properties – to 55. Pending Sales climbed to 63. There was a decrease in Inventory, which came in at 278 units.