While the Covid-19 pandemic wrought many major changes across society, one of the biggest changes noted to date has been a steady rise in housing prices. From the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021, median home prices across the United States rose nearly 20%—reaching a value of just over $400,000 for a single-family home.
With 2008 not too far behind us, many worry that today’s ever-climbing real estate prices are a sign of economic crisis to come. But most economists say no.
Housing Boom Driven by Supply, Demand, and Mortgage Rates
While the Great Recession was driven largely by risky subprime lending practices—a bubble that popped when these high-risk borrowers defaulted—the current situation has very different root causes, according to those who study housing economics.
These experts note that steadily rising prices come from standard economic push-and-pull: real demand for housing has gone up drastically during the pandemic years. More families are seeking larger homes, and many millennials (who had been priced out of the market for over a decade) are now able to afford homes for the first time. Moreover, historically low mortgage rates have continued in the United States, dropping below 3% by July 2021.
Taken together, the increased market demand and relatively low mortgage rates mean that more people are ready to finance homes. And when housing supply can’t match demand, there’s only one way for prices to go: up.
The Lehigh Valley Mirrors the National Trend
The housing supply and demand trends spotted across the nation are certainly holding true throughout Pennsylvania and here in the Lehigh Valley specifically. Here are some statistics to prove that point:
- Lehigh Valley median home sale prices rose 8.3% from October 2020 to October 2021.
- Whereas there were 1,884 units for sale in Lehigh and Northampton counties in October 2019, that number was just 739 in October 2021.
- As of December 2021, the Lehigh Valley’s median home price reached the highest ever in history: $278,000.
Local real estate experts expect the housing market to ease some in 2022, as more housing is built. However, the rental market is still tight in the Lehigh Valley (similar to the rest of the country), and rental costs have increased in recent years.
It’s definitely a seller’s market, but there are still great options for housing in the Lehigh Valley. Just be prepared for more competition, higher bidding prices, and less time to sit on an offer.
Moving to the Area? Contact Our Lehigh Valley Movers
Housing trends have come and gone over the many decades that O’Brien’s Moving and Storage has been in business—and we’ve helped families and businesses move successfully in all circumstances! Since 1928, we’ve been a leading Lehigh Valley moving company for both local and long-distance moves, bringing the power of Allied Van Lines alongside our own expert staff.
You can count on our experienced moving professionals for:
- Free In-Home or Virtual Estimates
- Full-Service Packing and Unpacking
- Floor Protection and Stretch Wrapping
- Specialty Packing and Crating
- Convenient Storage
- Logistics and Specialized Moving Services
- And More!
To work with the top movers in the Lehigh Valley, PA, reach out to O’Brien’s Moving and Storage today. Give us a call or fill out our online form for a free, no-pressure cost estimate now.
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