November 15, 2021

Lehigh Valley Housing Market Hits Cyclical Slowdown

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported October data showed the cyclical pattern of the housing market, as buying and selling calmed down a touch as cooler weather and the holidays draw near, but also low inventory continued to stymie the ability for REALTORS® to get all their buyers to a closing table.

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

“We’re seeing strong activity reported across both rental and residential housing fronts,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “With the strong activity and desire for Lehigh Valley living, we’re also seeing single-family rent prices increasing rapidly, as demand for single-family housing and inventory constraints forcing some buyers to rent, increasing competition and pushing rents up across the Lehigh Valley.”
 
Porembo added, “While the increase in housing prices is not a new phenomenon as of late, the inventory and price pinch is now leaking heavily over to our rental market.”
 
Relief may be in sight, according to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. Speaking at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego, California, Yun said even though there may be a decline in sales in 2022, he still forecasts home sales will outdo pre-pandemic levels. His prediction, he noted, is based on an anticipation of more inventory in the coming months. That supply will be generated, in part, from new housing construction – already underway – as well as from the conclusion of the mortgage forbearance program, which in turn will cause a number of homeowners to sell.

"With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease," Yun said. "Home prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace."

While Yun was speaking on a national level, the Lehigh Valley housing market often matches with what the rest of the nation is seeing.
 
October Stats
 
With inventory still not at sufficient, comfortable levels – there were just 739 units in October for Lehigh and Northampton counties – the Median Sales Price increased 8.3 percent to $260,000. 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 October include:
 
  • New Listings decreased 16.8 percent to 834.
  • Pending Sales dipped 8.7 percent to 817.
  • Closed Sales slipped 16.4 percent to 762.
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 33.3 percent to 1.0 months.
  • Percentage of List Price Received went above and beyond, increasing 1.6 percent to 101.7 percent.
  • Homes sold, on average, in just 16 days, a decrease of 20.0 percent.
In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased 1.4 percent to $175,000. Closed Sales were down to 72. Pending Sales decreased to 69. New Listings dipped by just one listing to 88. Inventory dropped to 141 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 2.0 months. Homes are moving at a decent pace for the association’s more rural county, with Days on Market dropping to 30 days vs. 44 days the previous October.
 
“With interest rates inching upward, and experts expecting further rate increases on the horizon, sellers should know that motivated buyers are hoping to lock in their home purchases to take advantage of what are still historically low rates,” said GLVR President Tim Tepes. “If you’re thinking about selling, there is no doubt a buyer is ready to strike. There is no longer a time of year that is better or worse to enter the housing market. If you’re ready, find a REALTOR® to help you meet your goals.”