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The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported December data showed higher mortgage rates impacting prospective sellers, many of whom have locked in historically low rates and are now choosing to wait until market conditions improve before selling their home.

GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for December 2022.

“While our region experiences a cyclical housing market with activity dropping over the winter months, the December market activity was compounded by inflation, soaring interest rates, and elevated sales prices,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Economists predict sales will continue to slow and housing prices will soften vs. over sell themselves. However, the inventory shortage will likely keep prices from dropping too much, as buyer demand continues to outpace supply.”

December Stats

Closed Sales dipped 31.0 percent to 518 listings. Inventory creeped upward by 6.4 percent – there were 602 units in December for Lehigh and Northampton counties. But with inventory still not at sufficient, comfortable levels, the Median Sales Price saw another increase of 3.6 percent to $290,000.

Other notable housing statistics for December include:

  • New Listings slipped 18.6 percent to 364.
  • Pending Sales were down 23.6 percent to 375.
  • Months Supply of Inventory was up 25.0 percent to 1.0 months.
  • Percentage of List Price Received tumbled 2.2 percent to 99.2 percent.
  • Homes sold, on average, in 25 days, an increase of 31.6 percent.

In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price dipped to $200,000. Closed Sales were down to 65. Pending Sales dropped to 52. New Listings fell to 35. Inventory came in at 91 units, a slide of just three properties, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that increased to 1.4 months. Days on Market dropped from 34 days to 28 days.

“In good news as we head into 2023, we are predicting mortgage rates to settle below 6 percent and experience less volatility,” said GLVR President Howard Schaeffer. “Although rates remain more than double a year ago, they will likely stabilize as inflation will continue to slow down in the coming months.”

Schaeffer added, “Recent generations have become accustomed to rates at historical lows and sub-normal levels. Mature generations and us longtime real estate professionals often reflect when rates were in the mid-to-high teens. Buyers and sellers shouldn’t get wrapped up in the catastrophizing of the mortgage situation, when through these current corrections, rates are resetting back into reality.”