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New GLVR Report Shows Low Inventory, Rising Prices in Local Housing Market | WDIY Local News

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A new report from the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors says the region’s housing market is still very tight.

The report said April data showed that new listings dropped by 36.5% to 584 units, down from 919 in April 2022 and 1,007 in April 2021.

GLVR CEO Justin Porembo said in a statement that housing inventory remains tight in the Lehigh Valley and nationwide, and that the lack of existing inventory continues to impact home sales.

Inventory dropped by 27.5% last month, with just 498 properties available for sale in Lehigh and Northampton Counties at the end of April.

On average homes spent around 24 days on the market, a 71.4% increase from 2022, when a property sold on average in 14 days.

Porembo also said competition for available properties is still strong, especially in certain price categories, and that multiple offers are common on the market.

The report’s data showed that last month’s average sales price rose 13.5%, to $359,579, while the median sales price increased by 12.5% to $315,000.

This is up from April 2022’s average sales price of $316,821 and median sales price of $280,000.

GLVR President Howard Schaeffer said housing prices are still rising because of limited options on the market, and that homebuilding is needed to bring that inflation down.

He said more than 1.1 million homes need to be built nationally each year, “to have a meaningful impact on the lack of inventory.”

Schaeffer also said that economists from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders said increasing interest rates will not fix the inventory problem.

The report said nationally, only 980,000 units were available for sale heading into April. This is a 5.4% increase compared to 2022, although the number of homes for sale is down compared to the same period of time in 2019, pre-pandemic.

The GLVR said fluctuations in mortgage interest rates have also caused buyers to pull back.

Read more of the GLVR’s market update here.

(Original air-date: 5/16/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.