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‘ROCKING SINCE MARCH’ Closings soar by 20 percent in July; pending home sales also see growth

The summer real estate season continues its full bloom in the Greater Lehigh Valley, indicating signs of a solid recovery under way.

The summer real estate season continues its full bloom in the Greater Lehigh Valley, indicating signs of a solid recovery under way.

Home sales continued an upward spiral, growing 20.1 percent – 299 additional homes sold – comparing July 2015 with July 2014. A 10.3 percent growth in pending sales over the same period suggests that momentum will continue.

“It has been rocking since the beginning of March,” said Joan Seaward, real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Elite in West Lawn. “Every month is better than the month before.”

Another professional agent agreed.

“We definitely had a late spring this year,” said Cheyenne Reiman, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Hearthside, Realtors, Hellertown. “Usually in the past, we have been busier through May and June. This year it seems like a lot of the activity has gone through July and August, which is not typical.”

Schuylkill County also sees atypical activity, an encouraging sign for the residential market.

“We have never had more listings than we did in our office this summer,” said Erica Ramus, broker with Ramus Realty Group, Pottsville. “I am not 100 percent sure why the little burst in listings. We are seeing sellers who perhaps didn’t want to sell during the down time who are coming out of the woodwork.”

Though the seasonal August down time has arrived, overall residential activity continues its upward trend, particularly in Berks County. There, July home sales grew a robust 38.5 percent over the previous July, an omen portraying both a cyclical and strengthening market.

“The general perception is that the market is strong, that everything is better than it was,” Seaward said. “The ride that we had in the mid-2000s was so long and so artificially induced, everybody thought they could make it last forever. Right now, we’re riding the boom.”

Seaward said she anticipates the buyers’ market will continue to adjust moving forward, including the rise of long-time low interest rates.

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