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Realtors February report: House sales down again, decline 7.7 percent in LV

The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) reported that inclement weather in Februrary may have impacted sales of houses for the month.

The average sales price and median sales price increased again in February after decreases in January.

There was also a decline in new listings in February after an increase in new listings in January.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased for a second straight month, down 7.7 percent in February, with 418 houses sold, down from 453 houses sold in February 2018, according to the GLVR report released March 12.

The percentage of decrease in closed sales was slightly more than the percentage of decrease in the first month of 2019, when closed sales were down 5.7 percent in January, with 448 houses sold, down from 475 houses sold in January 2018. according to the GLVR.

Closed sales for 2019 are down 4.8 percent, to 883, down from 928 for the first two months of 2018.

Pending sales increased 4.5 percent in February, to 647 houses, up from 619 houses in February 2018.

Pending sales had increased 0.9 percent in January, to 575 houses, up from 570 houses in January 2018.

New listings decreased 6.3 percent in February, to 696 houses, down from 743 houses in February 2018.

New listings had increased 6.8 percent in January, to 805 houses, up from 754 houses in January 2018.

The average sales price increased 3.6 percent in February to $217,685, compared to $210,180 in February 2018.

The average sales price had decreased 4.4 percent in January to $217,676, compared to $227,601 in January 2018.

The median sales price increased 8.2 percent in February, to $188,250, compared to $174,000 in February 2018.

The median sales price had decreased 2.6 percent in January, to $185,000, compared to $189,900 in January 2018.

Inventory levels again shrank, by 9.2 percent in February, to 1,503 units, down from 1,656 units in February 2018.

Inventory levels also shrank in January, by 6.3 percent, to 1,612 units, down from 1,721 units in January 2018.

Days on the market spiked, up 8.2 percent in February, or 53 days, up from 49 days in February 2018.

Days on the market were unchanged in January, 0.0 percent, or 47 days, the same as in January 2018.

The months supply of inventory again decreased in February, by 8.7 percent, or 2.1 months, compared to 2.3 months in February 2018.

The months supply of inventory also decreased in January, by 4.2 percent, or 2.3 months, compared to 2.4 months in January 2018.

The percentage of list price received again decreased slightly in February, down 0.6 percent to 97.1 percent, down from 97.7 percent in February 2018.

The percentage of list price received also decreased slightly in January, down 0.8 percent to 96.7 percent, down from 97.5 percent in January 2018.

The housing affordability index decreased 7.1 percent in February.

That reverses the housing affordability index increase of 1.2 percent in January.

Market analysis

The GLVR February report predicts spring market enthusiasm is beginning after inclement weather stalled some home-buying and selling actions.

February data showed the effect of cold, rainy and snowy weather on the market, the GLVR report states.

According to GLVR CEO Justin Porembo, the Lehigh Valley housing market has proven to be resilient.

“It is still too early to say how the entire year will play out, but the spring market will be here before you know it, along with its usual flood of activity, and economic fundamentals remain positive,” Porembo stated in the report.

“It is worth noting that some softening of sales was anticipated, as was a positive sales bounce in January after a slow end to 2018,” stated GLVR President Carl Billera in the February report.

“Weather-related events have hampered some of the necessary machinations of making home sales in February, yet buyers have shown determination toward achieving their homeownership goals,” Billera stated in the report.

The National Association of Realtors reported that national existing-home sales were down slightly during January and that pending sales were up in year-over-year comparisons.

Carbon County

In Carbon County, new listings increased to 79 in February, according to the GLVR report.

The median sales price bumped up to $137,500.

Pending sales climbed to 63.

There was a slight increase in inventory, which was up to 314 units.

GLVR information

The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 2,000 Realtors in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

GLVR provides professional development and training resources, competitive market information, legislative advocacy, peer review and mediation processes for members, and a dispute resolution service for consumers.

GLVR owns and operates the Greater Lehigh Valley Multiple Listing Service and the Greater Lehigh Valley Real Estate Academy.

Information: GreaterLehighValleyRealtors.com