The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported April data showed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on an industry in Pennsylvania deemed non-essential.
GLVR Members: Click HERE to view the full Market Update report for April 2020.
“The real estate industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs,” said Justin Porembo, GLVR CEO. “But it’s difficult to finalize transactions when dealing with consumers who want or need to move between a yellow county and a red county, and vice versa, and with the inability to complete proper inspections, appraisals, etc.”
With data now available for the month of April, which was the first full month of real estate being shut down, Lehigh and Northampton counties saw New Listings decrease 81.1 percent to 216. Pending Sales were down 76.3 percent to 204. Inventory levels shrank 46.0 percent to 949 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that was down 44.0 percent to 1.4 months.
For the homes that did sell, home prices were up and Days on Market remained fast. The Median Sales Price increased 10.4 percent to $212,000. Days on Market was down 19.6 percent to 37 days.
In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price was relatively steady at $135,900. Closed Sales were down to 43. Pending Sales dropped to 21. For New Listings, there were only 12. Inventory dropped to 187 units, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory of 3.0 months.
“The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® and the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® have been advocating to make real estate a life-sustaining business,” said Jack Gross, 2020 President of GLVR. “We believe, like 49 other states, that real estate professionals can safely conduct business for their clients.”
Two bills have been introduced in the state House and Senate, which would allow real estate to reopen across the state with proper safety procedures in place. They are House Bill 2412, which would allow real estate services to be conducted uniformly across the state, and Senate Bill 1135, which would exempt real estate work from Pennsylvania’s business closure order – if it complies with certain mitigation practices including Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
Gross added, “We, the 3,000 members of the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®, commend the legislators who have supported HB 2412 and SB 1135 and recognize that real estate and shelter are necessities.”