2020 Lehigh Valley Real Estate Market Trends
Here in Lehigh Valley, real estate is a hot commodity. Just a few hours by car from two of the biggest cities in the U.S. -- New York City and Philadelphia -- Lehigh Valley is a burgeoning area in the Northeast that contains the Pennsylvanian cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. It's also where almost a million people call home, with a population of about 850,000 as of the 2018 census.
For those that can't or won't pay the exorbitant prices of homes in more expensive urban areas, Lehigh Valley is emerging as a bedroom community for nearby cities that are becoming too costly in which to rent or own. That's great news for the Lehigh Valley, which is quickly growing due to heavy investment in the area from large and small businesses alike.
But then 2020 hit, and Covid-19 came, and you know the rest.
However, unlike more urban areas that are seeing a population drain, Lehigh Valley real estate market trends are pointing up, and many are deciding to move to the area for a lower cost of living, more space, and a better life than the afflicted large cities that have more cases and more to do to overcome the novel coronavirus that's upended just about everything.
Before it all started, January 2020 was already showing a shift when it comes to Lehigh Valley real estate market trends. The median sales price from a year earlier didn't change at all, but closed sales were down almost five percent, and inventory was down almost 35 percent, meaning that it was much harder to find an available home to purchase, even compared to the same time the previous year.
February 2020 saw another month of limited supply and tight inventory, which beat January's record for a low, one-monthly supply and was the lowest supply measured since data tracking began in 1996. At the current pace, it would have taken just under one and a half months to exhaust the entire Lehigh Valley real estate supply, illustrating that market trends have become even more limited in the area. At the time, it was thought that the early months might provide some revitalization of the market, but, at least in February, closed sales were flat and only one sale separatedFebruary 2019 from February 2020.
For most of us, March was when we became aware of the seriousness of Covid-19, and Lehigh Valley real estate market trends are no exception. Closed sales dropped almost 10 percent in March with only 554 reported sales. But for sellers, the limited supply and effects of the coronavirus drove median sales prices up over 10 percent to $210,000. Time on the market was also a brisk 43 days, even while new listings decreased by almost a quarter. Pending sales also dropped almost 20 percent and overall inventory fell by almost 40 percent. The month’s supply of inventory also dipped by more than 40 percent from the same time last year, with less than a month and a half of inventory.
Once April hit, which was the first full month under Covid-19 lockdowns and closures, Lehigh Valley real estate market trends were again good for sellers and bad for buyers as new listings fell by a staggering 80 percent. Pending sales were also down more than 75 percent, and inventory dropped by almost 50 percent, leaving a month’s supply of just under one month and a half. However, for the homes that sold, median prices rose more than 10 percent up to $212,000. As for time on the market, it fell almost 20 percent to a quick 37 days.
In May, Lehigh Valley real estate market trends continued on the same trajectory under Covid-19 and saw a full 19 days of closures. New listings dropped by almost 40 percent from 2019, and pending sales dropped about the same amount, as did inventory. The months’ supply also fell more than 30 percent, but from April it marked a rise from about a month and a half to 1.8 or almost two months. But houses went fast, and median sales rose almost four percent to $214,000 while days on the market fell by more than five percent and houses sold within 35 days.
In June, the last month of available tracking, Lehigh Valley real estate market trends turned around strongly as it was the first full month of open real estate since the pandemic began. New listings were up over seven percent and pending sales jumped a staggering 44 percent, which showed that there's still a ton of interest in the area, the novel coronavirus notwithstanding. However, inventory fell by almost 45 percent, pulling the months’ supply down to just a month and a half. For sellers, prices increased by almost another 10 percent to $237,000. Days on the market also rose almost 30 percent for a still-quick 41 days.
If you need help navigating the post-Covid-19 world of Lehigh Valley real estate, let the market trend experts at Homeway Real Estate be your guide. We represent the finest properties in the area, and our innovative technologies combined with our years of full-time experience makes us uniquely suited to understand and get the most out of Lehigh Valley real estate. Contact us today.