As the premier source of real estate information in the Lehigh Valley and its surrounding communities, the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) is pleased to provide an in-depth report on the 2020 local housing market.
The information that follows is an overall look at the 2020 housing market, in addition to predictions for 2021.
2020: The Year of COVID and a Housing Market that Didn’t Get the Memo
Some markets have been performing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic due to a robust in-migration of new residents, faster local job market recoveries, environments conducive to work-from-home arrangements, and other factors.
The Lehigh Valley is one of those markets.
Real estate was an industry in Pennsylvania that was deemed non-essential and was shut down during the normally booming spring market. When real estate was reopened on May 19, 2020, the local housing market rebounded rather quickly, with repressed demand equating to a wave of showings. Buyers were quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers, but the Lehigh Valley area was already strapped for sellers pre-COVID. A healthy sales pace continued through the winter months, with strong buyer demand being buoyed by near-record low-interest rates and by individuals and families in neighboring states leaving behind high-occupancy locations and buildings in search of more rural living.
This momentum has already continued into 2021. During the first month of the year, despite near-record-breaking snowfall, pending sales were up 3.0 percent to 592, closed sales went up 8.9 percent to 515, the median sales price increased 27.0 percent to $234,900, and the percentage of list price received almost hit the mark, increasing 2.4 percent to 99.8 percent.
Digging Deeper into 2020 and the Numbers
(Lehigh and Northampton counties)
SALES: Pending sales decreased 0.9 percent, finishing 2020 at 8,507. Closed sales were down 5.7 percent to end the year at 8,131.
LISTINGS: Comparing 2020 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was lower by 55.9 percent. There were 632 active listings at the end of 2020. New listings decreased by 13.0 percent to finish the year at 9,493.
LIST PRICE RECEIVED: Sellers received, on average, 99.3 percent of their original list price at sale. Year-over-year original list price increased 1.2 percent.
PRICES: Home prices were up compared to last year. The overall median sales price increased 11.6 percent to $229,000 for the year. Single Family home prices were up 11.0 percent compared to last year, and Townhouse- Condo home prices were up 10.3 percent.
What to Expect in 2021
The housing market in 2020 proved to be incredibly resilient, ending the year on a high note. Home sales and prices were higher than 2019 across most market segments and across most of the country. Seller activity recovered significantly from the COVID-19 spring decline, but overall activity was still insufficient to build up the supply of homes for sale.
As we look to 2021, signals suggest buyer demand will remain elevated and tight inventory will continue to invite multiple offers and higher prices across much of the housing inventory. Mortgage rates are expected to remain low, helping buyers manage some of the increases in home prices and keep them motivated to lock in their housing costs for the long term. These factors will provide substantial tailwinds for the housing market into the new year.
Full Annual Report
Curious to know what else the Annual Report contains? Contact a Realtor® today for more information or for a full market analysis. You can find a Realtor® at www.GLVR.org.