Home listings slipped in December as Lehigh Valley buyers scramble to hold off on higher mortgages

It’s a new year, but a new beginning may have to wait, because experts say that apartment owners are patiently waiting for the right time to sell. give their property.

Accustomed to lower and lower mortgage rates, buyers appear to be prepared to wait out the delay in demand for higher priced homes, rather than the lower mortgages they hope to secure. when it’s their turn to enter the market, Lehigh Valley Realtors said.

“Investors predict that sales will continue to slow down and house prices will soften and sales themselves. However, the lack of data may prevent prices from falling significantly, as consumer demand continues to increase,” said the CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Realtors Justin Porembo in his organization. January report on local real estate activity for the past month.

Even if prices fall, home buyers can still get their value from the long-term investment, and prices are higher than last year.

Mortgage rates have shown signs of declining from the highs they closed in 2022.

According to Bankrate.com, the average 30-year fixed mortgage APR as of Thursday was 6.36%, down one-tenth of a percentage point since last week. Nationally, Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed mortgage average interest rate fell to 6.15% and the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 5.28%.

Experts say that the drop in mortgage rates can provide opportunities for buyers since it provides opportunities for many buyers by reducing monthly payments.

“December was another tough month for consumers, who continue to face limited inquiries and high mortgage rates,” National Association of Realtors Chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “Nevertheless, expect to pick up sales again since mortgage rates have fallen sharply since the end of last year.”

According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors’ January look back at December activity, home closings in the Lehigh Valley fell 31% to 518 listings and new listings fell 18.6% to 364.

As of November 2022, the national index is below 100, meaning the average family cannot afford to buy a home worth $370,000, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Income in the Lehigh Valley currently makes up 82% of what is needed to qualify for an affordable home under current interest rates, according to data from the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors Association. The record reached 6.4% – giving Lehigh and Northampton counties a small 602 units in December with a sales price of $290,000, according to the association. That’s down 1% from the 2022 median price of $293,000, but up 3.6% from December 2021.

President of the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors Howard Schaeffer urged buyers and sellers not to get caught up in trying to secure the lowest mortgage in the jump.

“Although rates remain more than double last year, they are likely to stabilize as the weather will continue to moderate in the coming months,” he said. . “Older generations and those of us who are seasoned real estate professionals tend to reflect when it comes to the middle to high end of the spectrum. Buyers and sellers should not be wrapped up in the disruption of the mortgage situation, when through these current corrections, prices are returning to reality.”

At a glance:

According to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors’ January to December activity report:

  • New listings fell 18.6% to 364.
  • Pending sales fell 23.6% to 375.
  • The monthly supply of goods increased by 25.0% in 1.0 months.
  • The percentage of rental value fell by 2.2% to 99.2%.
  • Houses were sold, on average, in 25 days, an increase of 31.6%.

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Glenn Epps can be found at gepps@lehighvalleylive.com or glenn_epps_on Twitter.

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