Lehigh Valley market weakens in June

From the Morning Call:

House sales still dropping

The number of homes sold in the Lehigh Valley continued to fall last month, as average home prices dipped slightly and the time homes sat on the market before selling lengthened.

At the same time, the number of new listings — which reached an all-time high in May — fell in June for the first time in 10 months, compared with the same period last year.

Aside from the welcome decline in new listings, there was little reprieve in June from the downward trends that have dominated the housing market in the Lehigh Valley for nearly a year: the rate of home appreciation has slowed, and the number of houses sold has declined sharply.

Indeed, home sales fell for the 13th month in a row in June, declining 14 percent, according to statistics released by the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors. The average price of an existing home in Lehigh and Northampton counties fell 0.4 percent in June to $236,000, compared with the same period last year. It was one of only four months in the past three years in which the average price of existing homes has fallen year-over-year.

The number of pending sales, or homes that are under contract but have not closed yet, fell 12 percent to 622 in June, compared with May. Pending sales is an important measure because it gives an indication of future sales activity.

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One Response to Lehigh Valley market weakens in June

  1. Lehigh Valley says:

    Our prices are heading to pre 2000 levels. People try and say our 100% + increase was because of commuters. Let’s see, our location hasn’t changed and our prices were always cheaper. The people who came here from NJ & NYC were simply escaping a bubble market over there. Real quick, they realize that a 3-5 hour commute, cost of gas, never seeing your famlily until Saturday, is just not worth it. They overpaid and now have negative equitity. The homes were built on swamps and built so half-ass they will have major troubles in a few years.

    Watch as these cookie-cutter developements start sitting empty because the foreclosures are going to be insane. Local’s were smart enough to sit back and watch this bubble burst, we knew not too pay 200k for a rowhome that sold for 70k in 2000. These speculators and commuters are in for a rude awakeneing. The morning call is a huge cheerleader for the realtos. They reported in January how in 2006 hardly any new population rose from commuters and in 2007 it’s worse. People just aren’t willing to drive 3-5 hours after working 8-10. When you add in the cost of having a new car(miles add up quick), maintenence of the high milage car, gasoline (insanse monthly cost), family time, who in their right mind would do that?

    I think of it this way, in Central PA (no man’s land) you can buy a 3-4 bedroom all brick(not just the front) home with 1-2 acres for under 100k(most times way under). You can drive there in under 2 hours with no traffic. Now if locals used the commuter mentality, you could live in that area (jobs around here pay almost double than out there) and commute every day. Then again, I like going too the kids afterschool activities. I like having dinner with my family. The best thing is 20 minutes after a long day, I am HOME! Guess what I bought in the mid 90’s and own a ranch in East Penn SD. I could have almost tripled my money and I had dozens of offers during the bubble. Problem is, once I sold I would have been paying double for a new home (than it’s worth). Too me being a local my entire life, it’s insane.

    We had a similar bubble in the early 90’s when 78 was built. Prices went up about 25% and it took 10 years until prices caught back up. This one is going to crash back until house values are around 2000 or worse maybe 1997 values. It’s only going to hurt the “STUPID PEOPLE” who bought under the realtor myth of “BETTER BUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER”, “COMMUTERS ARE GOING TO COME FOREVER”

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