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Housing boom in the Lehigh Valley?

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 30 2012 03:52:21 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2012 05:56:39 AM CST

Home prices soaring, but people are still buying

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Over the last year home prices nationally have risen more than 27%.  According to realtors around here, the housing market for sellers in the Lehigh Valley is also on the rise.  With low interest rates and home prices increasing, experts say it's a great time to buy a home.

Over the last 17 months, there's been a 15% increase in homes sold in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

"This long stretch of increased sales year over year really depicts to us we're in a true recovery, not just an anomaly," explained Brad Pratt, Senior Vice President of Prudential Patt White Real Estate & The Premier Group.

And it's not just an increase in sales. Home prices are seeing an up-tick, and the number of days on the market are going down.  Listings in the area are being sold on average after 80 days.  The median sales price in the Lehigh Valley is up $3,000 more than this same time last year.

"I think we're seeing a lot of first time home buyers come off the fence and begin to purchase properties that are under $200,000," added Patt.

He says when consumers feel more confident with the state of the economy they feel more comfortable making a bigger purchase.  Right now interest rates are at historic lows, so prospective buyers can get more home for less money.

"I really hope folks realize interest rates aren't going to remain this low forever," said Patt.  "With the fantastic prices that we're experiencing in the current market now truly is the time to purchase."