Are you shopping for a home in Allentown? There are many reasons to take an interest in Allentown, the fastest growing – and currently third largest – city in the state of Pennsylvania, as well as the center of the Lehigh Valley area. The development of Allentown’s downtown area earned it a declaration as a "national success story" from the Urban Land Institute in 2016, a rare recognition that few other cities have received.
Allentown is a historically significant city that features an extensive city park system. It is home to a number of large corporate headquarters that provide a wealth of job opportunities, including Air Products & Chemicals, Pennsylvania Power & Light, and Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. Thinking about moving to the area? Here are some key points to know, regarding the current state of housing in Allentown, PA.
A Big Price Spike Over the Past Year
The past year has seen considerable activity and change in the Allentown real estate market. Active inventory has dropped over forty percent, from 51 units to 30, and buyers are snapping these properties up increasingly quickly; the median length of time a home is on the market has shrunk from 80 days to 53.
Home sizes and price per square foot have remained largely unchanged, but the real story is the spike in housing prices. The median list price a year ago was $169,900, and today, it's $242,200. That's a 42% increase.
The jump in prices is even more steep, when you look exclusively at single-family homes, as the median list price of a single-family home currently stands at $424,900, an increase of 70% from a year ago. Condos and townhouses aren't increasing in value quite so sharply, but they're still a part of the rising prices trend.
The number of homes being sold as distressed properties – those which are bank-owned, foreclosed, or short sales – has fluctuated somewhat over the past year, but remains at 3% of the total listings.
A year ago, Allentown would have been considered one of the more affordable parts of the country to buy a home. However, it's now clear that buyers have noticed the low prices, in addition to the amenities and opportunities Allentown has to offer, and the boom is well underway.
Mortgage Rates in Allentown
Rates for mortgages in Allentown – and in Pennsylvania, in general – are higher than the national average these days, hovering at around 4.28% while showing a general upward trend. Higher-than-average mortgage rates are expected in active housing markets like Allentown, yet rates are still low, compared to what many analysts would expect, considering past trends. It's still a good time to get a housing loan, and you'll find many companies competing to offer qualified buyers good deals and low rates for lending in Allentown, PA.
Still a Good Value, Even as Prices Rise
Relatively speaking, Allentown still offers a good value for your home-buying dollar. Allentown has been investing in its own development and future, and it isn't just another rust belt town where a lack of jobs is keeping home prices depressed.
Forecasters believe that the coming year will continue to see inventory falling short of the number of interested buyers, and this tightening of the market is likely to lead to further price increases. If you're looking to move to the Lehigh Valley area, you'll want to make your purchase sooner rather than later, before prices go up even higher.