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Buyers still snapping up homes; low inventory a concern

Movement and recovery in the residential real estate market in the Greater Lehigh Valley continued in October.

Movement and recovery in the residential real estate market in the Greater Lehigh Valley continued in October.

Closed sales grew 2.9 percent and pending sales increased 3.5 percent over October 2015, continuing what has been a strong 2016.

“We have been seeing an increase in prices, houses selling faster but a lower inventory of homes to sell,” said Charles Haley, associate broker/general manager with Howard Hanna The Frederick Group, South Whitehall Township. “It’s moving at a good pace.”

Others agreed.

“It’s a new market now,” said Thomas R. Wilkins, CEO with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wilkins & Associates, Stroudsburg. “We’re up 9.6 percent off of last year.”

Ron Samsel, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Wyomissing, said there is more demand.

“There is not as much inventory as we need because the houses have been selling,” he said.

Lower inventory may have contributed to a 3.8 percent bump in overall average sales price as buyers scurry to grab good homes. Another 6.4 percent drop in new listings over October 2015 shows potential to continue that trend.

“I anticipate it being busy through December,” said Mark Duke, broker with ERA Duke Realtors, Washington, N.J. “… I think we’re going to have an exceedingly busy spring and right through to the summer.”

In the Lehigh Valley, while pending sales grew 8.5 percent, October home sales grew a modest 0.7 percent and new listings fell 8.6 percent over last October.

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