The Lehigh Valley real estate trends we've seen all year continued in December 2019. Home prices continue to improve with the average price up 5.3% to $233,319. Buyer demand is strong and and there is a lot of demand with pending sales up 4.3% and closed sales up 10.2%. Seller activity is unenthusiastic and the number of new listings down by 7.3% with only 422 new listings posted for the month. Housing inventory declined by 25.4% for the year.
Mortgage rates, while up from their recent lows a few months ago, will end the year close to three-quarters of a percent lower than a year ago, helping to improve affordability and offset rising home prices.
Sellers should be encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory, down 25% to 1.8 months, Low mortgage rates, low unemployment, and continued wage growth, home buyer activity is expected to remain healthy through 2020. New construction has been on the rise in 2019 and is expected to continue into 2020. Economists and real estate experts note that the country is still not building enough new units to meet demand. It remains to be seen whether existing homeowners will be enticed to sell by higher home prices, which could finally bring the overall housing market into greater balance.
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