February 22, 2021

Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® Release 2020 Annual Report

As the premier source of real estate information in the Lehigh Valley and its surrounding communities, the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) is pleased to provide an in-depth report on the 2020 local housing market.
 
Highlights of the report include:
 
SALES: Pending sales decreased 0.9 percent, finishing 2020 at 8,507. Closed sales were down 5.7 percent to end the year at 8,131.

LISTINGS: Comparing 2020 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was lower by 55.9 percent. There were 632 active listings at the end of 2020. New listings decreased by 13.0 percent to finish the year at 9,493.

LIST PRICE RECEIVED: Sellers received, on average, 99.3 percent of their original list price at sale. Year-over-year original list price increased 1.2 percent.

COVID-19: Real estate was an industry in Pennsylvania that was deemed non-essential and was shut down in the midst of the normally booming spring market. When real estate was reopened on May 19, the local housing market rebounded rather quickly, with repressed demand equating to a wave of showings. Buyers were quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers, but the Lehigh Valley area was already strapped for sellers pre-COVID. A healthy sales pace continued through the winter months, with strong buyer demand being buoyed by near-record low interest rates and by individuals and families in neighboring states leaving behind high-occupancy locations and buildings in search of more rural living.

PRICES: Home prices were up compared to last year. The overall median sales price increased 11.6 percent to $229,000 for the year. Single Family home prices were up 11.0 percent compared to last year, and Townhouse-Condo home prices were up 10.3 percent.

CARBON COUNTY REVIEW: Carbon County experienced another stellar year, partly due to homebuyers looking for inventory not available in other contiguous areas. In addition, Carbon County’s rural landscape has gotten more interest as working and learning from home becomes the norm, leading to individuals and families desiring more space in their homes and more yard for play. In 2020 for Carbon County, closed sales were up 9.8 percent to 873. There were 981 new listings, and the year closed with 117 active listings. Percent of list price received at sale for 2020 was, on average, 96.5 percent. The overall median sales price increased 17.6 percent to $160,000.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2021: The housing market in 2020 proved to be incredibly resilient, ending the year on a high note. Home sales and prices were higher than 2019 across most market segments and across most of the country. Seller activity recovered significantly from the COVID-19 spring decline, but overall activity was still insufficient to build up the supply of homes for sale.
 
As we look to 2021, signals suggest buyer demand will remain elevated and tight inventory will continue to invite multiple offers and higher prices across much of the housing inventory. Mortgage rates are expected to remain low, helping buyers manage some of the increases in home prices and keep them motivated to lock in their housing costs for the long term. These factors will provide substantial tailwinds for the housing market into the new year.

About the Report / View the Full Report:
 
The Annual Report provides thorough data on the 2020 real estate market in Lehigh and Northampton counties. A quick review of Carbon County and its school districts is also reported. The full report is only available to members of the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® via the Member Portal.
 
ShowingTime, the vendor used to create the annual and monthly market reports, uses research collected from the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is utilized by more than 3,000 REALTORS® and Appraisers.

The Annual Report provides commentary on the 2020 real estate market and a breakdown of the following criteria:

  • Quick Facts
    • New Listings
    • Pending Sales
    • Closed Sales
    • Median Sales Price
    • Average Sales Price
    • Percent of List Price Received
    • Inventory of Homes for Sale
    • Monthly Supply of Inventory
  • Property Type Review
  • Price Range Review
  • Distressed Homes Review
  • Activity by School District with Review of Median Sales Price