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Lehigh Valley houses sell for 103.3 percent of list price

The competition for buying a house apparently continues unabated with Lehigh Valley houses selling on average for 103.3 percent of list price.

And the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) April data also showed a match of the median sales price record set in March.

The spring market wanted “to be busy,” but is stymied by inventory, mortgage rates and other external economic factors, according to the May 13 GLVR report.

April statistics

• Average sales price increased 11.6 percent in April, to $317,884, up from $284,932 in April 2021. The average year-to-date sales price increased 15.2 percent to $313,836, up from $272,512.

• Median sales price increased 13.7 percent in April, to $280,000, up from $248,250 in April 2021. The year-to-date median sales price increased 15.1 percent, to $275.000, up from $239,000.

• Percentage of list price received increased 2 percent to 103.3 percent in April, up from 101.3 percent in April 2021. The year-to-date percentage of list price received increased 1.8 percent to 102.4 percent, up from 100.6 percent.

• Closed sales decreased 1.3 percent to 616 units in April, down from 624 units in April 2021. The year-to-date closed sales are up 1.7 percent to 2,192 units, up from 2,155 units.

• Pending sales decreased 2.8 percent, to 780 in April, down from 782 in April 2021. The year-to-date pending sales are down 1.3 percent, to 2,501, down from 2,535.

• New listings dropped 9.2 percent, to 914 in April, down from 1,007 in April 2021. The year-to-date new listings are down 1.3 percent, to 2,961, down from 3,000.

• Days on market decreased 26.3 percent, to 14 days in April, down from 19 days in April 2021. The year-to-date days on market decreased 13.6 percent, to 19 from 22.

• Months supply of inventory decreased 20 percent, to 0.8 in April, down from 1.0 in April 2021.

• Inventory decreased 27.1 percent, to 570 in April, down from 782 in April 2021.

• Housing affordability index decreased 31 percent, to 100 in April, down from 145 in April 2021. The year-to-date housing affordability index decreased 31.5 percent, to 102, down from 149.

Carbon County

In Carbon County, the median sales price increased to $195,000 in April.

Closed sales were down to 58.

Pending sales increased to 68.

New listings dropped to 83.

Inventory dropped to 74 units.

Months supply of inventory was 1.0 months.

Days on market dropped to 31 days in April, down from 42 days in April 2021.

April analysis

“While we’re hopeful housing supply will be on the upswing as builders increasingly construct new homes, inflation will persist and in turn cause strain for would-be buyers,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “Affordability challenges are limiting buying activity, and early signs suggest competition for homes may be cooling somewhat,” Porembo said.

“All eyes are on the recent surge in mortgage rates, which have reduced the pool of eligible buyers and caused mortgage applications to decline,” said GLVR President Howard Schaeffer.

“As the rising costs of homeownership force many Americans to adjust their budgets, an increasing number of buyers are hoping to help offset the costs by moving from bigger, more expensive cities to smaller areas that offer a more affordable cost of living, a situation that can, and is, creating a logjam for places like the Lehigh Valley,” Schaeffer said.

National indicators

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage exceeded 5 percent in April, the highest level since 2011, according to Freddie Mac.

The recent surge in mortgage rates has had a significant impact on refinance applications, which are down more than 70 percent, compared to this time last year.

Nationally, existing home sales dropped to a six-month low, falling 7.2 percent as buyers struggled to find a home amid rising prices and historic low inventory.

Pending sales were also down, declining 4.1 percent as of last measure, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Higher construction costs and increasing sales prices continue to hamper new home sales, despite high demand for additional supply.

Monthly payments have increased significantly compared to this time last year.

GLVR Information

The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 3,000 Realtors in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The association 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.

The association owns and operates the Greater Lehigh Valley Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the Greater Lehigh Valley Real Estate Academy.

Realtors are distinguished from real estate licensees by subscribing to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice as defined by the National Association of Realtors.

Information: www.GreaterLehighValleyRealtors.com