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 2022 local housing market.
The following information is an overall look at the 2022 housing market, in addition to predictions for 2023.
2022: The Year of Calming the Housing Market Volatility
Mortgage rates were near historic lows, buyer competition was fierce, and homes were selling at a breakneck pace, often with multiple bids and all-cash offers, due to pent-up demand and a shortage of housing supply, causing sales prices to soar to new heights. But all that changed a few months later as mortgage rates began to rise, adding hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments and causing housing affordability to plummet to its lowest level in decades. As borrowing costs continued to increase, home sales and prices began to slow. After two years of record-breaking activity, the housing market volatility was finally calming.
Digging Deeper into 2022 and the Numbers
(Lehigh and Northampton counties)
Sales: Pending sales decreased 14.1 percent, finishing 2022 at 7,515. Closed sales were down 12.1 percent to end the year at 7,675.
Listings: Comparing 2022 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was up 6.4 percent. There were 602 active listings at the end of 2022. New listings decreased by 10.5 percent to finish the year at 8,942.
List Price Received: Sellers received, on average,102.0 percent of their original list price at sale. Year-over-year original list price increased 0.4 percent.
Distressed Homes: Previous forbearance efforts by the government and lenders limited distressed sales activity once again. In 2022, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale finished the year at 0.4 percent of the market – or 31 properties out of the 7,675 closed for the year. Foreclosure and short sale activity may increase in 2023. 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 12.9 percent to $293,000 for the year. Single Family home prices were up 11.5 percent compared to last year, and Townhouse-Condo home prices were up 15.0 percent.
What to Expect in 2023
Home sales continued to decline throughout much of the year as affordability challenges took their toll on market participants, forcing many prospective buyers and sellers to the sidelines. To help offset rising costs, some buyers moved from bigger, more expensive cities to smaller, more affordable areas. In contrast, others turned to the rental market, where competition and rental prices surged.
Looking ahead to 2023, much depends on inflation, mortgage interest rates, and the broader state of the economy, although economists predict many of 2022’s housing trends will continue into the new year: home sales will soften, price growth will moderate, inventory will remain tight, and there will be greater variability between markets nationally, with some regions possibly seeing price declines while other, more affordable areas of the country – like the Lehigh Valley – remain in high demand and experience price growth.
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.