Bethlehem Press

Saturday, March 23, 2019

November LV house sales rebound by 7.7 percent

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Paul Willistein in Business Showcase

House sales in the Lehigh Valley rebounded in November 2017, bouncing up 7.7 percent.

According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors (GLVR) monthly report released Dec. 12, there were 661 houses sold in November, compared to 614 houses sold in November 2016 for an increase of 7.7 percent.

The up-tick follows two months of declining sales of houses in the Lehigh Valley.

Closed sales decreased 5.8 percent in October to 672 houses sold, compared to 713 houses sold in October 2016.

Closed sales decreased 3.5 percent in September to 697 houses sold, compared to 722 houses sold in September 2016.

The up-and-down sales typified Lehigh Valley house sales trends in 2017. Sales increased in five months and sales decreased in six months in 2017, compared to month-to-month 2016 comparisons. December 2017 Lehigh Valley house sales are to be announced.

For 2017 to date, and not including December, closed sales increased 4.3 percent, to 7,709, compared to 7,392 for the year to date in 2016.

Pending sales again increased by double figures in November.

Pending sales increased 18.8 percent in November to 646, compared to 544 in November 2016.

For 2017 to date, pending sales increased 8.3 percent, to 8,170, compared to 7,546 for the year to date in 2016.

Market analysis

According to the GLVR analysis in its November report, “housing data showed an active market that brought in never before seen statistics for the month of November.”

The statistics show figures comparable to statistics posted before the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

The GLVR report emphasized:

New Listings increased 5.2 percent to 713 in November, compared to 678 listings in November 2016. This is the best November for New Listings since 2010.

Pending Sales were up 18.8 percent to 646. GLVR began running monthly market updates in 2003. This is the highest number of Pending Sales in the month of November since at least 2003.

Closed Sales went up 7.7 percent to 661, the most Closed Sales in the month of November since 2005.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.7 percent to $185,000 in November, compared to $175,000 in November 2016. “We haven’t seen this Median Sales Price in the month of November since it hit $190,000 in 2008,” stated the report.

The Average Sales Price increased 9.9 percent to $217,150 in November, compared to $197,581 in November 2016.

The Percentage of List Price received increased 1.4 percent to 98.1 percent, compared to 96.7 percent in November 2016.

The Housing Affordability Index decreased again in November, by 4.3 percent.

Stated the GLVR report, “And, of course, there are the Inventory levels, which shrank 26.4 percent to 1,931 units in November, compared to 2,625 units in November 2016, leading to a Months Supply of Inventory that dropped 30.8 percent to 2.7 months in November, compared to 3.9 months in November 2016.

“Days on Market was down 24.6 percent to 43 days in November, compared to 57 days in November 2016,” the report continued.

“All of these statistics fall nicely into a residential real estate market that has remained consistent throughout 2017,” according to the GLVR November report.

“In year-over-year comparisons, the number of homes for sale has been fewer in most locales, and homes have been selling in fewer days for higher prices,” said GLVR CEO Justin Porembo. “This hasn’t always been true, but it has been a common enough storyline to make it an overarching trend for the year.”

Tax Act impact

Lehigh Valley Realtors aren’t ignoring the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Congress and Senate and signed into law Dec. 22 by President Donald Trump.

“New tax legislation could have ramifications on housing,” said Cass Chies, 2017 President of GLVR.

According to the GLVR report, “The White House believes that the tax reform bill will have a small impact on home prices, lowering them by less than 4 percent, and could conceivably boost homeownership.

“The National Association of Realtors has stated that eliminating the mortgage interest deduction could hurt housing, as the doubled standard deduction would reduce the desire to take out a mortgage and itemize the interest associated with it, thus reducing demand.”

Closed sales

Closed sales decreased 5.8 percent in October to 672 houses sold, compared to 713 houses sold in October 2016.

Closed sales decreased 3.5 percent in September to 697 houses sold, compared to 722 houses sold in September 2016.

Closed sales increased 2 percent in August to 813 houses sold, compared to 797 houses sold in August 2016.

Closed sales increased 2.7 percent in July to 756 houses sold, compared to 736 houses in July 2016.

Closed sales decreased 2.4 percent in June to 893 houses sold, compared to 915 in June 2016.

Closed sales increased 14 percent in May to 800 houses sold, compared to 702 in May 2016.

Closed sales decreased 4.3 percent in April to 626 houses sold, compared to 654 in April 2016.

Closed sales increased 13.7 percent in March to 616 houses sold, compared to 542 in March 2016.

Closed sales decreased 4.4 percent in February to 433 houses sold, compared to 453 in February 2016.

Closed sales decreased 10.8 percent in January to 412 houses sold, compared to 462 in January 2016.

Carbon County

In Carbon County, the Median Sales Price increased 17 percent to $129,900.

Inventory levels shrank 28.3 percent to 273 units.

Months Supply of Inventory was down 35.8 percent to 5.2 months.

Pending Sales climbed 20 percent to 54.

There was a slight increase of Closed Sales, which hit 43.

GLVR information

The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 2,000 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.