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Real estate sales skyrocket; on cusp of a seller’s market

It just keeps getting better.

It just keeps getting better.

The September real estate figures for the Greater Lehigh Valley show a robust 19.8 percent increase in home sales over September 2012, another strong month in what has been a brisk year of activity.

“This year has been absolutely the best year we have had probably in the last eight years,” said Bill Sands, broker with Sands & Company, Wyo-missing, Berks County. “It has been very robust.

“That robust activity and sales volume we experienced I feel is a direct attribute to the confidence that the market has reached bottom and has stabilized. The interest rates were still at an all-time low, so that has propagated a lot of people to feel safe to venture back into the market.”

The numbers from across the region show that 1,260 homes were sold in September, an increase of 208 homes when compared to last September. And going back two years, this year’s September numbers show a 23.4 percent jump over September 2011’s figures.

Sands sees positive signs for the market, in part because of a reduction in the number of foreclosures.

“In the past, foreclosures were very much as-is,” he said. “With the banks and investors taking back these properties, going in and doing the basic cleanup, they are getting a higher price point, which is helping to raise the bar on the value. It’s a very positive sign.”

According to Sands, other positive signs in the market include commercial lenders opening doors to business ventures and investors, including land developers.

“New construction starts are coming back on board,” he said. “They aren’t dominating the market as they have done, which is helping the resale market regain steam. Eventually, we are going to be doing that switch from more of a buyers’ market instead of a sellers’ market, but we are not quite there yet.”

In the Lehigh Valley itself, 111 more homes were sold this September over last September (a 23.5 percent jump), while the Poconos saw a whopping surge of 36.7 percent in sales.

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