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Ups and downs lead to modest 1.1% rise regionally in home sales

Residential real estate sales continue to bounce up and down depending on the location in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Residential real estate sales continue to bounce up and down depending on the location in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

The Poconos, for example, saw a 35 percent surge in home sales in August when compared to last August. Meanwhile, sales were sluggish in Berks County and the Lehigh Valley compared to last August, with single-digit percentage decreases.

But the landscape is changing, thanks to the threat of higher interest rates. In fact, some agents believe September is going to be a strong month, while others, regardless of location, have had good years.

“I feel like people held back and now they are going for it,” said Lisa Tiger, a veteran agent at Century 21 Gold in Reading.

For the Greater Lehigh Valley, sales increased by a modest 1.1 percent in August over August 2013, rising to 1,542 units.

“This season, there has been a very good uptick in activity,” said Rob Baxter, associate broker with Keller Williams Real Estate in Pocono Pines. “A lot of people over the last few years that maybe could have afforded one were just sitting on the sidelines waiting to watch the market.”

A 2.3 percent dip in home sales in Berks County doesn’t reflect what Tiger sees.

“Real estate in Berks County is crazy good,” she said. “Last year was my busiest year in my 19 years and this year it’s even busier than last year.”

She specializes in homes priced $300,000 and more. She attributed the brisk activity to lower inventory, higher demand and other factors.

“The values of the homes have come back,” Tiger said. “It will never come back to where it was ’06 and ’07, but it has really come back pretty strong in Berks County, at least.

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