The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported August data – the most recent data currently available – showed that pending sales and showings remained at strong levels while housing inventory remained limited, continuing the competitive bidding market we have seen for many months now.
As we head into the beginnings of the fall season, we normally see housing activity begin to slow, but this year is far from normal. With the stock indexes at or near record highs as mortgage rates remain near record lows, signs point to a busy fall housing market – if our REALTOR® members can find sellers.
During the month of August, Northampton and Lehigh counties saw New Listings decrease 7.1 percent to 948, a sign that some sellers are wary about the low inventory situation and/or because they are not yet ready to allow individuals into their homes due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. That said, both Closed Sales were relatively steady, dropping just 1.7 percent to 937. Pending Sales jumped 23.4 percent to 995, showing that many buyers are still working their way through the closing process.
Inventory levels shrank 55.3 percent to 850 units, leading to a Month’s Supply of Inventory that was down 51.9 percent to 1.3 months. This low inventory means home prices continued to gain traction, and Days on Market remained fast. The Median Sales Price increased 9.1 percent to $240,000, with sellers receiving 99.7 percent of list price. Days on the market decreased 15.6 percent, coming in at just 27 days.
While uncertainty remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing markets, the healthy housing demand we see today will create significant tailwinds in the near term. The local market is experiencing robust activity due to the delayed spring selling season. There are no indications that contract activity will wane in the immediate future.
Is Real Estate Safe During a Pandemic? Yes.
Porembo and Gross emphasized that real estate is safe in the age of COVID-19. All area REALTORS® have access to suggested best practices that outline how to keep everyone involved in a real estate transaction safe. Should any consumer – whether they be a home buyer or seller or even a renter – be interested in learning how they and their REALTOR® can work together to create a safe environment for a real estate transaction, additional information is available at parealtors.org/coronavirus/best-practices.
Need a REALTOR®? You can research and find a local REALTOR® at www.GLVR.org.