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Realtor statistics show leap in pending sales in Lehigh Valley

Pending home sales in the Lehigh Valley jumped 17.6 percent in September when compared to last September, according to the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors.

Pending sales reflect homes that are under contract but have not yet closed, and the statistic is a seen as a harbinger.

“Realtors are optimistic a slow, but steadily improving market will spur more consumers to achieve the American dream of home ownership,” said Kim Skumanick, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.

Also in September, the Lehigh Valley’s new listings increased 0.7 percent to 1,096, compared to 1,088 the same month last year, according to LVAR data. Inventory levels grew 2.2 percent to 4,320 units.

“The continued increase of new listings – from the same time last year and over the last several months – has proved to be a continuing trend that is increasing the amount of housing inventory from which buyers may choose,” said Ryan Conrad, CEO of LVAR.

The research was collected from LVAR’s Multiple Listing Service that includes information from more than 2,000 Realtor members.

Prices in the Lehigh Valley also continued to gain traction. Year-to-date, the median sales price remained the same at $170,000. The median sales price reflects the median point at which half of the sales sold for more and half sold for less, not accounting for seller concessions, in a given month.

The average sales price for September 2014 was $213,261, an 8.6 percent increase.

“The increase in home prices may be encouraging people who were waiting to sell their homes to put them on the market, something that is currently being reflected in the increase in new listings and inventory levels,” said Kim Lucas-Mantz, president of LVAR. “Our MLS data indicate that homes are selling for 96.4 percent of their list price.”

Closed sales dipped 8.7 percent in September 2014, a statistic being seen across the state.

Skumanick of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors is optimistic as the fourth quarter takes hold.

“Throughout Pennsylvania, we’re seeing continued signs of a stabilizing market,” Skumanick says. “Although home sales across the commonwealth remained relatively unchanged [in the third quarter], we still see positive signs in the marketplace. …

“Consumers know that investing in a home is a great way to build long-term financial wealth and stability.”

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