February 14, 2017

Winter, Low Inventory Slow Down January's Real Estate Market

The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported January data shows that sale totals inevitably started off slow, and may continue to do so in the first half of the year, due to ongoing inventory concerns.

To view the full Market Update for January, click HERE.

“January usually brings out a rejuvenated crop of buyers with a renewed enthusiasm in a new calendar year,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “But continued declines in the number of homes available for sale may push out potential buyers who simply cannot compete for homes selling at higher price points in a low number of days, especially if mortgage rates continue to increase.”
New Listings decreased 5.5 percent to 732. Inventory levels shrank 43.4 percent to 1,964 units. Days on Market was down 14.5 percent to 59 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 47.3 percent to 2.9 months.
Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 0.1 percent to $169,900. The Housing Affordability Index went down 4.2 percent to 184. This index measures housing affordability for the region. For example, an index of 120 means the median household income is 120% of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means greater affordability.
“Wages are on the uptick for many Americans, while unemployment rates have remained stable and relatively unchanged for several months,” explained Cass Chies, the president of GLVR. Noting the continued inventory struggle, Chies added, “The system is ripe for more home purchasing if there are more homes available to sell.”
In Carbon County, new listings were down 37.2 percent. Inventory levels shrank 27.6 percent to 301 units. Months Supply of Inventory was down 38.6 percent to 6.2 months. Days on Market decreased 26.4 percent to 89 days.