June 14, 2017

Inventory Shortage Doesn't Quell Optimism for Summer Home Buying and Selling

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported May data shows that, although we continue to battle an inventory shortage in the Lehigh Valley and much of the country, optimism remains high for a successful summer for buying and selling homes.

Click HERE to view the full Market Update for May 2017.

“The overall economy is in better shape than it was a decade ago,” noted GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “More jobs are available, unemployment is relatively low and workers have more faith in their wages and the potential for wage increases.”
New Listings increased 4.3 percent to 1,251. Pending Sales were up 21.9 percent to 958. Inventory levels shrank 40.5 percent to 2,214 units.  Days on Market was down 12.3 percent to 50 days. Showing the continued strain that low inventory is inflicting on the real estate market, Months Supply of Inventory was down 43.9 percent to 3.2 months – the lowest it’s been since 2005.
Home prices in the Lehigh Valley mimicked those across the U.S. as they continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 1.4 percent to $182,523.
The rise in prices is prompting worry over another boom-and-bust scenario like we experienced roughly ten years ago, according to Cass Chies, President of GLVR.
“However, as we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are now much stronger than they were before,” explained Chies. “Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession.”
In Carbon County, new listings increased 13.8 percent. Closed sales were down 10.9 percent. Pending Sales, however, were up 30.0 percent. Inventory levels shrank 32.7 percent to 302 units. Months Supply of Inventory was down 34.0 percent to 6.4 months.