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May LV house sales trend upward

Lehigh Valley house sales increased slightly in May, continuing a positive trend for two months in a row.

Closed sales for houses in the Lehigh Valley increased 0.4 percent in May, with 815 houses sold, up from 812 houses sold in May 2018, according to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released June 12.

Closed sales for the first five months of 2019 are up slightly, 0.3 percent, to 3,010 from 3,002 for the first five months of 2018.

Closed house sales had rebounded in April, reversing a three-month decline in the first quarter of 2019.

There was again an increase in pending sales, up 9.1 percent in May, to 984 houses, compared to 902 houses in May 2018.

New listings decreased 2.8 percent in May to 1,194 houses, compared to 1,228 houses in May 2018.

The average sales price increased 4.6 percent in May to $233,447, compared to $223,159 in May 2018.

The median sales price increased 3 percent in May to $206,000, compared to $200,000 in May 2018.

Inventory again decreased, down 12.3 percent in May to 1,670 units, compared to 1,904 units in May 2018.

Days on the market decreased 10 percent in May, or 36 days, compared to 40 days in May 2018.

The months supply of inventory again decreased, down 14.8 percent in May, or 2.3 months, compared to 2.7 months in May 2018.

The percentage of list price decreased slightly, down 0.2 percent in May to 98.6 percent, compared to 98.8 percent in May 2018.

The housing affordability index increased sllightly, 0.6 percent in May.

Market analysis

The May GLVR data indicated that, while the Lehigh Valley housing market isn’t particularly exciting, it remains desirable.

“At this point in the year, we are getting a good sense for how the housing market is likely to perform for the foreseeable future,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo.

“Markets across the country are regulating toward a middle ground between buyers and sellers. While we’re still heavily leaning toward a seller’s market in the Lehigh Valley, and it remains true that sales prices are running higher and that inventory options are relatively low, buyers are beginning to find wiggle room at some price points and geographies,” Porembo said.

“An extended trend of low unemployment, higher wages and favorable mortgage rates has been a terrific driver of housing stability in recent years,” said GLVR President Carl Billera, adding, “As a whole, the selling season is looking fairly stable across the nation, and that includes the Lehigh Valley.”

The GLVR May report further observed:

“What is different about this year so far is that prices are not rising as quickly. Some of the hottest Western markets are even cooling slightly, while some Northeast markets are achieving a state of recovery after a decade of battling back from recession.”

Monthly closed sales

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,

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 135 in May,. according to the GLVR monthly report.

The median sales price decreased to $117,500.

Pending sales increased to 94.

There was a slight decrease in inventory to 343 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