Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® Release 2021 Annual Market Report

by Justin Porembo

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 2021 local housing market.

The information that follows is an overall look at the 2021 housing market, in addition to predictions for 2022.

2021: The Year of Inventory (Lack Thereof) and Prices (Records Were Broken)

Fervent buyer demand, driven by pandemic-induced changes to housing needs and preferences, reached extraordinary levels in 2021. The inventory of homes for sale remained low, as home seller activity did not rise proportionally to meet this demand. New construction activity, while strong, remains limited by a combination of material and labor shortages, rising material costs, and a regulatory and operational environment that makes it difficult to scale quickly.

The strong seller’s market of 2020 continued and even strengthened in 2021, with inventory levels remaining low and multiple offer situations common across much of the housing market both locally and nationally. Multiple offers again drove prices significantly higher for the year. Locally, the record for Median Sales Price in Lehigh and Northampton counties broke multiple times. The record was first broken in June (and met in July) at $275,000. December then broke the record again, coming in at $278,000.

Digging Deeper into 2021 and the Numbers

(Lehigh and Northampton counties)

SALES: Pending sales increased 5.0 percent, finishing 2021 at 8,834. Closed sales were up 6.0 percent to end the year at 8,672.

LISTINGS: Comparing 2021 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was lower 39.5 percent. There were 456 active listings at the end of 2021. New listings increased by 5.0 percent to finish the year at 9,984.

LIST PRICE RECEIVED: Sellers received, on average, 101.6 percent of their original list price at sale. Year-over-year original list price increased 2.3 percent.

DISTRESSED HOMES: Forbearance efforts by the government and lenders continued for much of the year, limiting distressed sales activity once again. In 2021, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale decreased by 11.1 percent to finish the year at 0.3 percent of the market. Foreclosure and short sale activity may increase in 2022. However, the strong gains in equity seen by most homeowners in the last few years will help to limit the number of distressed sales

PRICES: Home prices were up compared to last year. The overall median sales price increased 13.2 percent to $259,225 for the year. Single Family home prices were up 14.2 percent compared to last year, and townhouse-condo home prices were up 10.1 percent.

What to Expect in 2022

The 2021 housing market was once again strong both locally and nationally. Inventory shortages and high buyer demand continued to push home prices higher, with multiple offers on a limited number of homes the common theme in most market segments.

Looking ahead, familiar trends will keep pushing home prices higher still. As mortgage rates are likely to continue to rise over the year as well, housing affordability will remain an important factor to watch.

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

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