With the greening of the grass and the hopefully warmer days, we are seeing the real estate market both nationally and locally continuing to warm as well. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales in March were up over February by 3.7 percent. This trend is expected to continue and is great news for an industry that affects the overall health of our economy.
According to the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors (LVAR), March sales in the Lehigh Valley were up 54 percent over February. This is a phenomenal increase and is a great start to what we all hope will be a great spring market.
In Lehigh and Northampton counties, we saw the number of homes currently on the market drop by 12.1 percent, which is helping to create a stable market. We did, however, see an increase in days on market from 98 in February to 110 in March. This number should come back down as sales heat up and inventory continues to stay in line. We also saw an increase in the list-to-sale ratio. This percentage is the difference between list price and closed sale price. In March, we saw a one percent rise from 95 percent to 96 percent.
How did the Saucon Valley market perform during this period? Sales in March rose 30 percent over February, following suit with the local and national trends. There are 6.7 percent more properties on the market since February, but even with this increase, the month’s supply of inventory is stable. More data is available from the LVAR's March 2011 Market Update.
One thing to remember: if you are concerned with year over year figures being down, don’t fret. Those numbers were based on an incentivized market. Once we get over the April hump from last year’s tax credit expiration, we should see year over year figures become a positive headline.
Where might we be going from here? The experts are expecting transactions to continue to rise throughout the year. Interest rates are ticking upward and will continue to increase, making now a great time to grab a lower rate. If you are a seller, the key to this market is pricing aggressively and making sure your home shows as well as it possibly can.