October 12, 2021

Fall Slowdown Hits Lehigh Valley Housing Market, but Homes Still Selling in 16 Days

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported September data showed a decline in existing home sales coinciding with rising sales prices, which have continued to soar into fall.

GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for September 2021.

“Nationwide, existing home sales started to trend down slightly as of August, something we are also seeing here in the Lehigh Valley,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Declining affordability and a lack of inventory has had a significant impact on homebuyers, many of whom are choosing to wait for sales prices to ease and more options to become available before resuming their home search.”
 
With inventory still not at sufficient, comfortable levels – there were just 815 units in September for Lehigh and Northampton counties – the Median Sales Price increased 12.1 percent to $264,450. In addition, homes sold, on average, in 16 days – three days above the record low of 13 days, which was recorded in July.
 
Other notable housing statistics for September include:
 
  • New Listings decreased 17.9 percent to 870.
  • Pending Sales dipped 5.6 percent to 806.
  • Closed Sales slipped 12.5 percent to 808.
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 31.3 percent to 1.1 months.
  • Percentage of List Price Received went above and beyond, increasing 1.7 percent to 101.6 percent.
  • Homes sold, on average, in just 16 days, a decrease of 27.3 percent.
“New listings are continuing to hit the market, more so than 2020 levels but not quite at 2019 levels, so the Lehigh Valley is starting to experience a lull both because of the change in seasons but also because of the tight inventory crunch and corresponding higher prices,” said GLVR President Tim Tepes. “That said, our area has significant development projects in the pipeline – both residential and commercial – and we’re optimistic that as inventory eventually increases, competition for homes may soften, and could even bring a moderation in sales prices.”
 
Tepes added, “The moderation in sales prices would be music to the ears of homebuyers, and the additional inventory would give sellers a place to go when their home sells. The Lehigh Valley is in need of both more sellers and buyers to create a more balanced market, but other layers need to fall into place – something that will happen over time as projects come to fruition – before this can happen.”
 
In Carbon County, the first signs of a seasonal slowdown are also creeping into the market. The Median Sales Price slipped 5.1 percent to $166,125. Closed Sales were down to 74. Pending Sales decreased to 81. New Listings dipped to 87. Inventory dropped to 126 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 1.8 months. Homes are still moving much faster for the association’s more rural county, with Days on Market dropping to 23 days vs. 58 days the previous September.