March 12, 2021

Low Inventory Creating Lehigh Valley Housing Market Stalemate

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported February data showed that while the Lehigh Valley housing market has been performing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic, the severe lack of inventory has created a bit of a stalemate.

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

“We’re seeing signals that suggest buyer demand will remain elevated and tight inventory will continue to invite multiple offers and higher prices across much of the housing inventory,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “But without a robust amount of sellers – if those sellers become buyers, where will they go? – everyone just kind of becomes stuck where they’re at.”

Buyers and sellers being “stuck” is showing in market statistics. With data now available for the month of February, Northampton and Lehigh counties saw decreases almost across the board, including:
 
  • New Listings dropped 28.5 percent to 501.
  • Pending Sales were down 19.0 percent to 490.
  • Closed Sales slid 11.7 percent to 416.
  • Inventory levels shrank 58.4 percent to 516 units.
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 58.8 percent to 0.7 months.
Because of the low inventory, the Median Sales Price went up 14.4 percent to $230,000. Percentage of List Price Received went above and beyond, increasing 2.7 percent to 100.4 percent. Days on Market remained fast, decreasing 54.9 percent to just 23 days.

“There has been a consistent rise in housing permits for single-family homes, which is a good sign that the supply and demand imbalance in the residential real estate market could start to ease,” said 2021 GLVR President Tim Tepes. “There will also be a natural seasonal upswing in inventory in spring and summer after few new listings during the winter months. These trends, along with an anticipated ramp-up in home construction, will hopefully provide much-needed supply."

In Carbon County, which continues to show a healthy amount of housing-related activity, the Median Sales Price increased to $159,900. Closed Sales were up to 49. Pending Sales increased to 71. New Listings dipped to 53. Inventory dropped to 85 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 1.1 months. Homes are moving much faster for the association’s more rural county, with Days on Market dropping to 35 days.

Monthly Reminder: Real Estate is Safe

Porembo and Tepes emphasize that real estate is safe in the age of COVID-19. All area REALTORS® have access to suggested best practices that outline how to keep everyone involved in a real estate transaction safe. Should any consumer – whether they be a home buyer or seller – be interested in learning how they and their REALTOR® can work together to create a safe environment for a real estate transaction, additional information is available at parealtors.org/coronavirus/best-practices.