Editor’s Note: The Saucon Valley Property Pulse is a regular sponsored column, exclusive to Saucon Source, featuring expert insight and analysis of the real estate market by realtor and Lower Saucon Township resident John Cummings. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or are simply interested in local housing trends, we hope you’ll find the information in it useful and share it with others. The data referenced below, for the month of June 2023, is the most recent available. Subscribe to the free Saucon Source newsletter to stay up to date on local real estate and other news!
Navigating the 2023 U.S. real estate market has been nothing short of a struggle for all parties involved, with June being no exception. With interest rates hikes, lack of affordable housing at an all-time high, banking failures and continued discussions about an overall recession in the news, it is fair to ask the question: how does Saucon stack up?
Simply put, the dynamics that we have seen so far this year have been background noise compared to the front-stage performance by the increasing population in the Lehigh Valley as well as our extreme lack of inventory in Saucon, which was much more influential on driving home prices higher in June. So will this positive trend continue through the end of 2023?
A look at key takeaways
Have some market prices corrected? Yes… But not here in the Lehigh Valley.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Lehigh Valley ranks 44th among the top 100 Metro Area rankings in home values.
Why? Some reasons include:
- Location near the main Northeast corridor including Boston, NYC, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
- GDP outpacing all of Pa. and the U.S. since 2019, bolstered by our manufacturing sector.
- The Lehigh Valley is the fastest growing region of Pa. for the 18-34 age group.
Saucon remains among the best of the best
Homes in both Saucon Valley and Southern Lehigh School districts remain in the top five areas for median home value (5 and 1 respectively), with huge jumps in appreciation year-over-year (YoY).
Although home values remain high, our severe lack of inventory remains the biggest challenge for those trying to move into the area, downsize or upgrade. Southern Lehigh inventory has been outpacing Saucon Valley’s and the Lehigh Valley as a whole. With that being said, both districts still are well below the “balanced” Days on Market (DOM) metric of 60 to 90 days.
Things to monitor
More rate hikes?
The Fed had its first pause in rate interest hikes in July, but says to expect at least two more before year’s end, which many people are. However, this would not match with the Fed’s history.
At no time in the Fed’s recent history have they increased rates after pausing. Instead, the Fed has always followed with a drop in rates. However, with inflation still above the Fed’s target of 2 percent and with the labor market still showing signs of strength, we may see a change in this historic trend.
Will the economy dip into a recession? Most experts agree that they can’t agree. What we do know is that the Lehigh Valley and Saucon specifically are in a prime area to weather any sort of economic downturn. In a recent study by Morningstar, the Lehigh Valley is in the top 15 markets in the country with the least chance of price corrections. Being best of the best has its advantages!
What this means
For Home Buyers
This market is extremely competitive for ALL buyers, which includes first time buyers, downsizers and upgraders. If you’re waiting for prices to drop, that doesn’t seem likely in Saucon. Be prepared to make some concessions and take decisive action as homes are selling quickly. This does not leave a lot of time to think about one of your life’s biggest purchases. Make sure you lean on an experienced advisor to help you navigate the challenges of this market.
For Home Owners/Sellers
Your home has appreciated greatly in the past three years, but you have your own set of challenges. Do you want a higher interest rate? Are you prepared to be bombarded with multiple buyers and offers? What is your plan for moving? If you are staying in Saucon, you will be another competitor in one of the hottest markets in the Lehigh Valley.
Investing in the Saucon Valley area remains extremely attractive due to the highly appreciating values and elevated rents. However, you may need to jump through some hoops in order to find a deal in this market.
About the Author
Hey there, I’m John Cummings, and I’m thrilled to be your local Saucon Valley real estate expert! As a proud resident, I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered this charming community alongside my wonderful wife and three boys.
My mission is simple: to share the joy and excitement of living in Saucon Valley with you and your family. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, I am dedicated to making your real estate journey a seamless and rewarding experience.
With a deep understanding of the local market and a passion for helping families like yours, I’ll go above and beyond to find the perfect home that matches your needs and desires. I believe that finding the right home is not just about the property; it’s also about finding the perfect place to create cherished memories and build a fulfilling life.
When I’m not busy making real estate dreams come true, you can find me exploring the beauty of Saucon Valley with my family, attending community events and giving back to the place we proudly call home.
Phone: (484) 280-8433
Office: (610) 882-1653