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LV house sales rebound; April increase 3.8 percent

Lehigh Valley house sales rebounded in April, reversing a three-month decline for the first quarter of 2019.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley increased 3.8 percent in April, with 651 houses sold, up from 627 houses sold in April 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released May 14.

Closed sales for the first four months of 2019 are down slightly, 0.7 percent, to 2,174, down from 2,190 for the first four months of 2018.

There was again an increase in pending sales, up 7.9 percent in April, to 919 houses, up from 852 houses in April 2018.

New listings decreased by 6.4 percent in April to 1,128 houses, down from 1,205 houses in April 2018.

The average sales price increased 3.1 percent in April to $226,499, compared to $219,600 in April 2018.

The median sales price increased 1.1 percent in April to $192,000, compared to $190,000 in April 2018.

Inventory levels again decreased, down 10.2 percent in April to 1,588 units, down from 1,769 units in April 2018.

Days on the market decreased 2.1 percent in April, or 46 days, down from 47 days in April 2018.

The months supply of inventory again decreased, down 12 percent in April, or 2.2 months, compared to 2.5 months in April 2018.

The percentage of list price increased slightly, up 0.1 percent in April to 98.1 percent, compared to 98 percent in April 2018.

The housing affordability index increased 3.1 percent in April.

Market analysis

“The year has provided several disruptive weather patterns that contributed to less foot traffic toward potential home sales,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo.

“Coupled with higher prices and an inventory situation in its infancy of recovering from record lows, slower sales persisted across most residential real estate markets, including in the Lehigh Valley. However, buyers are beginning to return in force. For well-priced homes in desirable locations, competition is fierce,” Porembo said.

“A historically-low unemployment rate is providing some reassurance to wary consumers,” said GLVR President Carl Billera.

“But in order for sales to increase on a grand scale, buyers will need more spending power, or sellers will need to reduce prices to land where buyers are most active. Inventory is straining to keep pace in the most competitive price ranges,” Billera said.

The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent during April 2019, the lowest level since 1969.

Monthly closed sales

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased 7.2 percent in in March, with 589 houses sold, down from 635 houses sold in March 2018.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased 7.7 percent in February, with 418 houses sold, down from 453 houses sold in February 2018.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley decreased 5.7 percent in January, with 448 houses sold, down from 475 houses sold in January 2018.

Carbon County

In Carbon County, new listings increased to 128 in April, according to the GLVR report.

The median sales price decreased to $137,500.

Pending sales increased to 86.

There was a slight increase in inventory at 315 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