While home sales declined in the Lehigh Valley for the first half of 2014, hampered by harsh winter weather in the opening months of the year, the houses that sold did so at the fastest pace in the last two years.
“What we were seeing in general was a situation that as a result of a severe winter, those who could defer moving did, but now that is starting to come back,” said Steve Storti, chief marketing manager for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors.
Home sales decreased 6.9 percent to 2,833 in Lehigh and Northampton County, compared to 3,044 homes sold in the first half of 2013.
Berks County median home sale prices increased 2.4 percent to $143,400 in the first half of 2014, compared to $140,000 in the first half of 2013.
The average home in the Lehigh Valley was on the market for 76 days. In Berks County, the average home was on the market 98 days in the first six months of 2014.
According to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors HomExpert Market Report, Lehigh County homes sales decreased the most in the region, dropping 8.5 percent to 1,512, compared to 1,653 in the first half of 2013. Northampton County was down 3 percent with 1,406 sales, and Berks County which was down 1.6 percent with 1,869 sales.
Northampton County posted the highest median sale price at $169,700, up 3.3 percent from last year, followed by Lehigh County at $159,900 (plus 1.2 percent) and Berks County at $143,400 (plus 2.4 percent).
Overall for the first half of 2014, the number of homes sold in Berks County decreased by 1.6 percent to 1,869, compared to 1,899 homes sold in the first half of 2013.
Storti said most real estate professionals in the region expect sales to swing upward looking into the second half of the year.
“Hypothetically, the second half of 2014 will be better and into 2015,” he said.