The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported March data showed that normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy real estate market as buyer demand continued largely unabated in the face of rising home prices and mortgage rates.
GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for March 2021.
“Existing home seller and new construction activity continue to remain below levels necessary to bring the market back into balance, pointing to a busy and competitive buyer market in the coming months,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo.
While the market is seeing its natural seasonal upswing and an anticipated ramp-up in home construction, that construction is still being constrained by multiple factors.
“While many homebuilders are working to increase their activity, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit new home construction and have increased costs substantially,” said 2021 GLVR President Tim Tepes, who in addition to working as a broker and co-owner of Assist 2 Seller Buyers & Sellers Realty also heads Tepes Construction Company Inc. “New methods of construction, including 3d printed homes, could speed construction and reduce costs in the future, but realistically are several years away from making a measurable impact in the market.”
With data now available for the month of March, Northampton and Lehigh counties saw the start of spring bring increases almost across the board, including:
- New Listings increased 15.5 percent to 840.
- Pending Sales were up 37.1 percent to 758.
- Inventory levels shrank 55.1 percent to 556 units.
- Months Supply of Inventory was down 55.6 percent to 0.8 months.
- Percentage of List Price Received went above and beyond, increasing 1.9 percent to 100.5 percent
Because of the low inventory, the Median Sales Price went up 14.3 percent to $240,000 and Closed Sales slid 8.0 percent to 538. Days on Market remained fast, decreasing 44.2 percent to just 24 days.
In Carbon County, which continues to show a healthy amount of housing-related activity, the Median Sales Price increased to $160,400. Closed Sales were down to 67. Pending Sales increased to 85. New Listings ticked slightly up to 75. Inventory dropped to 70 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 0.9 months. Homes are moving much faster for the association’s more rural county, with Days on Market dropping to 41 days vs. 98 days the previous March.
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.