Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sizzling sales spur talk of real recovery in real estate market

Home sales soared during the first half of 2015, an indication of a strengthening recovery of the residential real estate market in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Home sales soared during the first half of 2015, an indication of a strengthening recovery of the residential real estate market in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Overall, closed sales grew by 14.2 percent – 958 more homes sold – during the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. June closings accounted for 37 percent of that growth with 355 additional home sales, a 24.7 percent jump over June 2014.

Agents cite increasing consumer confidence, continued low interest rates and pent-up demand in bringing plenty of buyers to the market. While some agents are wary of the second half, others think that a real recovery finally is underway.

“It’s actually very active,” said Clay Mitman, broker with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Paul Ford Realtors, Easton. “We are seeing greater buyer activity in the marketplace. When a property comes on the market that is priced properly, we’re seeing multiple offers.”

Arlene Parisi of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Wyomissing, said it was a “nice, strong spring.”

“Finally, we have a stronger buyer pool in the market,” said Parisi, associate broker/manager. “… Interest rates remain low and there is a lot of pent-up purchasing power out there, people feeling more comfortable in their jobs, unemployment not as bad as what it’s been feeling like in the past.”

Berks County saw a 13.6 percent growth in year-to-date home sales as of June 30 over last year. Despite the growth, the average sales price dropped from $160,509 to $157,186, during that same period.

“Appraisals are still ultra-conservative,” Parisi said. “We now have properties where we see multiple offers, and the properties are going for over asking price.

“Yet when the appraisal gets done on it, they are looking at the history and it’s dragging the price back down, even though we have multiple buyers that are willing to pay the price. It’s a real issue for sellers.”

Parisi sees brisk activity for homes priced between $180,000 and $250,000 but slower interest for higher-priced homes.

Business Journal Events

Health Care Summit

Thursday, August 18, 2022
Health Care Summit

Forty Under 40 Awards

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Forty Under 40 Awards

Reader Rankings Awards

Monday, October 10, 2022
Reader Rankings Awards

Real Estate & Development Summit

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Real Estate & Development Summit