May 12, 2017

First-time Buyers Feeling Pinch of Low Inventory, Higher Prices

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported April data shows that the squeeze on inventory may be putting prices just out of reach of first-time homebuyers, but the market remains strong as we close out the second month of spring.

Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for April 2017.

“When the economy is in good working order, as it is now, it creates opportunities in residential real estate, and right now is a potentially lucrative time to sell a home,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Houses that show well and are priced correctly have been selling quickly, often at higher prices than asking.”
In fact, the percentage of list price received – it was at 97.7 percent in April – is the highest it has been since 2007.
New Listings decreased 4.7 percent to 1,181, and closed sales slid 4.3 percent to 626. Inventory levels shrank 42.7 percent to 2,054 units. As previously mentioned, prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 2.0 percent to $175,000. Days on Market was down 15.7 percent to 59 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 45.5 percent to 3.0 months.
“Although there is mounting buyer competition during the annual spring market cycle, buyer demand has not abated, nor is it expected to in the immediate future,” said GLVR President Cass Chies.
Chies added that, while strong demand is generally considered a good problem to have, it creates an affordability issue for some buyers, especially first-time buyers. The market continues to look for its balance, according to Chies, as low inventory plagues the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
In Carbon County, closed sales were down just 2.5 percent, and inventory levels shrank 35.7 percent to 284 units. Months Supply of Inventory was down 38.1 percent to 6 months. Days on Market decreased 40.9 percent to 81 days.