As the main source of real estate information in the Lehigh Valley, the Greater Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS® is pleased to provide in-depth data on our local housing market. Information is gathered from our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) generating data from over 2,000 Realtor® members.
While the stock market recovered significantly in March, the effects of COVID-19 to the economy continue to build. In just the last four weeks, more than 20 million people filed initial unemployment claims according to the United States Department of Labor, fueled by stay-at-home orders and a slowdown of economic activity across the country. Added to the unemployment claims from March, more than 30 million people have become unemployed since COVID-19 has become widespread in the U.S. In the face of these challenging times, real estate activity in April slowed significantly.
New Listings decreased 81.1% to 216. Pending Sales were down 76.3% to 204. Inventory levels shrank 46.0% to 949 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.4% to $212,000. Days on Market was down 19.6% to 37 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 44.0% to 1.4 months.
While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is expected that social distancing, higher unemployment, and lower overall economic activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term. At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.
As COVID-19's impact spread across the country in March, the stock market declines started in February accelerated downward before recovering a bit in the last week of the month. With volatility across all the financial markets, lenders began tightening underwriting standards and some buyers found they no longer were approved for a loan. Massive layoffs also shook the economy with 6.6 million initial jobless claims filed in a single week - double the number last week and ten times higher than any other week on record prior to this month.
New Listings decreased 24.7% to 722. Pending Sales were down 19.5% to 623. Inventory levels shrank 39.5% to 1,004 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.6% to $210,000. Days on Market was down 20.4% to 43 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 41.7% to 1.4 months.
While the effect of COVID-19 is varied throughout the country, we are likely to see impacts to housing activity now and into the coming months. Its continued spread is leading many companies and consumers to change their daily activities.
As we progressed through February, the actual and expected impacts of COVID-19 continued to grow, with concerns of economic impact reaching the stock market in the last week of the month. As the stock market declined, so did mortgage rates, offering a bad news-good news situation. While short term declines in the stock market can sting, borrowers who lock in today's low rates will benefit significantly in the long term.
New Listings decreased 2.4% to 691. Pending Sales were up 14.5% to 686. Inventory levels shrank 36.6% to 1,049 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 8.0% to $199,999. Days on Market was down 7.4% to 50 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 41.7% to 1.4 months.
The recently released January ShowingTime Showing Index® saw a 20.2% year-over-year increase in showing traffic nationwide. All regions of the country were up double digits from the year before, with the Midwest Region up 15.7% and the West Region up 34.1%. As showing activity is a leading indicator for future home sales, the 2020 housing market is off to a strong start, though it will be important to watch the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impacts to the overall economy in the coming months.
Please call, text, or email if I can be of service to you. Thank you.
*Courtesy of the Greater Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS®