Valley housing heats up

RentalsHomesPropertyReal Estate AgentsNazarethMacungie

If the three most important aspects of real estate are location, location, location, then the Lehigh Valley is hot, hot, hot. Not only is the region one of the fastest growing in the state, we also have a housing market that has double-digit appreciation.

New housing developments have set a record pace in the Lehigh Valley in the last few years. In fact, Macungie is the fastest-growing municipality in the entire state. The growth is due to the Valley's strategic location between New York and New Jersey, where taxes, housing costs and living expenses are much higher.
Newcomers from the Philadelphia suburbs and New York and New Jersey have been attracted to the new home developments and good school districts here. This in turn has heated up the market because the new residents have been willing to pay higher prices than the region was used to.

Builders too have flocked to the area creating new neighborhoods and new opportunities. All the development has created an upward shift in home prices that has gotten more homeowners than ever to list their homes for sale. This means the inventory of new and existing homes for sale has never been better.

THE HOUSING MARKET, BY SCHOOL DISTRICT

Lehigh County

Allentown S.D. (www.allentownsd.org, 484-765-4000) -- From historic Old Allentown to the West End in the city, the Allentown City School District has 23 schools with a total enrollment of 16,174 students. Housing is 53 percent owner occupied and 47 percent renter occupied with a median monthly contract rent of $541. The average price for the 1791 homes sold this year is $114,000, and homeowners listed 2728 homes with real estate agents.

Catasauqua Area S.D. (www.cattysd.org, 610-264-5571) -- The communities of Catasauqua, Hanover Township and North Catasauqua form the Catasauqua Area School District, and its three schools having a total enrollment of 1,745 students. Housing is 68.2 percent owner occupied and 31.8 percent renter occupied with the median monthly rent of $625. The average price for the 158 homes sold this year is $139, 000, and homeowners listed 204 homes with real estate agents.

East Penn S.D. (www.eastpenn.k12.pa.us, 610-966-8300) -- The communities of Alburtis, Emmaus, Lower Macungie Township, Macungie, Trexlertown and Upper Milford Township comprise the East Penn School District, which has 11 schools with a total enrollment 6,857 students. Housing is 78.3 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $136,700, and 21.7 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $666. The average price for the 868 homes sold this year is $240, 000, and homeowners listed 1233 homes with real estate agents.

Northern Lehigh S.D. (www.nlsd.k12.pa.us, 610-767-9800) -- The communities of Slatington, Washington Township and Walnutport make up Northern Lehigh School District, with a total enrollment of 2,154 students in its four schools. Housing is 77.9 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $102,300, and 22.1 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $566. The average price for the 164 homes sold this year is $151, 000, and homeowners listed 264 homes with real estate agents.

Northwestern Lehigh S.D. (www.nwlehighsd.org, 610-298-8661) -- Consisting of Heidelberg Township, Lowhill Township, Lynn Township and Weisenberg Township, the Northwestern Lehigh School District has four schools with a total enrollment of 2,294 students. Housing is 88.3 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $148,000, and 11.7 percent renter occupied housing with median monthly contract rent of $586. The average price for the 156 homes sold this year is $287, 000, and homeowners listed 280 homes with real estate agents.

Parkland S.D. (www.parklandsd.org, 610-351-5503) -- The communities of North Whitehall Township, Orefield, Schnecksville, South Whitehall Township and Upper Macungie Township contain Parkland's ten schools. Total enrollment is 8,228 students. This rapidly expanding real estate market has 84.4 percent owner occupied housing with a median home value of $146,100, and 15.6 percent renter occupied housing with median monthly contract rent of $703. The average price for the 746 homes sold this year is $274, 000, and homeowners listed 1114 homes with real estate agents.

Salisbury Township S.D. (www.salisbury.k12.pa.us, 610-797-2062) -- Salisbury Township has four schools with a total enrollment of 1,804 students. In neighborhoods of old row-style homes on the East Side and detached dwellings in the developments of the West Side, housing in Salisbury is 87.3 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $129,700, and 12.7 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $651. The average price for the 159 homes sold this year is $228, 000, and homeowners listed 242 homes with real estate agents.

Southern Lehigh S.D. (www.solehi.k12.pa.us, 610-282-3121) -- Center Valley, Coopersburg, Lower Milford Township and Upper Saucon Township provide the locations for Southern Lehigh's five schools with a total enrollment of 2,832 students. Houising is 88.4 percent of owner occupied with a median home value of $161,500, and 11.6 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $596. The average price for the 248 homes sold this year is $339, 000, and homeowners listed 464 homes with real estate agents.

Whitehall-Coplay S.D. (www.whitehallcoplay.org, 610-439-1431) -- The Borough of Coplay and Whitehall Township make up this district. Containing four schools, its total enrollment is 3,856 students. Housing is 66.3 percent of the housing is owner occupied with a median home value of $112,100, while 33.7 percent of housing is renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $654. The average price for the 369 homes sold this year is $184, 000, and homeowners listed 488 homes with real estate agents.

Northampton County

Bangor Area S.D. (www.bangor.k12.pa.us, 610-558-2163) -- The communities of Bangor, East Bangor, Lower Mount Bethel, Portland, Roseto, Upper Mount Bethel and Washington Township make up the Bangor Area School District, where five schools have a total enrollment 3,529 students. Housing is 74.1 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $119,500, while 25.9 percent of housing is renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $573. The average price for the 276 homes sold this year is $197, 000, and homeowners listed 475 homes with real estate agents.

Bethlehem Area S.D. (www.beth.k12.pa.us, 610-861-0500) -- Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township, Fountain Hill, Freemansburg and Hanover Township comprise the Bethlehem Area School District. With 24 schools, the total enrollment is 14,442 students. Housing is 66.3 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $111,200, and 33.7 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $577. The average price for the 1542 homes sold this year is $199, 000, and homeowners listed 2131 homes with real estate agents.

Easton Area S.D. (www.eastonsd.org, 610-250-2400) -- The City of Easton, Forks Township Lower Mount Bethel Township and Palmer Township make up the Easton Area School District. With nine schools, the district has a total enrollment of 8,214 students. Housing is 68.3 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $118,500, while 31.7 percent of housing is renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $581. The average price for the 1132 homes sold this year is $233, 000, and homeowners listed 1798 homes with real estate agents.

Nazareth Area S.D. (www.nazarethasd.k12.pa.us, 610-759-1170) -- The communities of Bushkill, Lower Nazareth Township, Nazareth, Upper Nazareth Township, Stockertown and Tatamy comprise the Nazareth Area School District. Five schools share a total enrollment of 4,121 students. Ranging from city housing to farms, 78.9 percent of housing is owner occupied housing with a median home value of $138,700. Renter occupied housing represents 21.1 percent of homes with a median monthly contract rent of $598. The average price for the 348 homes sold this year is $307, 000, and homeowners listed 573 homes with real estate agents.

Northampton Area S.D. (www.northampton.k12.pa.us, 610-262-7811) -- The Northampton Area School District includes Allen Township, Bath, Chapman, East Allen Township, Lehigh Township, Moore Township and Northampton. With eight schools, the district has a total enrollment of 5,472 students. Housing is 84.9 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $117,400, and 15.1 percent renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $535. The average price for the 501 homes sold this year is $210, 000, and homeowners listed 735 homes with real estate agents.

Pen Argyl Area S.D. (www.penargyl.k12.pa.us, 610-863-7811) -- Plainfield Township, Pen Argyl and Wind Gap form the Pen Argyl Area School District, which has three schools and enrollment that totals 1,948 students. Housing is 72.4 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $116,400 and 27.6 percent renter occupied housing with median monthly contract rent of $565. The average price for the 135 homes sold this year is $193, 000, and homeowners listed 247 homes with real estate agents.

Saucon Valley S. D. (www.sauconvalley.k12.pa.us, 610-838-7026) -- Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township form the Saucon Valley School District. Its four schools have a total enrollment of 2,306 students. Housing is 82.9 percent owner-occupied with a median home value of $130,300, and 17.1 percent renter-occupied; median monthly contract rent, $580. The average price for the 241 homes sold this year is $298, 000, and homeowners listed 477 homes with real estate agents.

Wilson Area S.D. (www.wilsonareasd.org, 484-373-6000) -- Glendon, West Easton, Williams Township and Wilson comprise the Wilson Area School District. Its five schools have a total enrollment of 2,319 students. Housing is 70.9 percent owner occupied with a median home value of $94,700, and 29.1 percent is renter occupied with median monthly contract rent of $580. The average price for the 203 homes sold this year is $198, 000, and homeowners listed 369 homes with real estate agents.

SCHOOL DISTRICT TAXES

Lehigh County

Dollar amounts are per $1,000 of assessed property value (rounded to the nearest cent for the purposes of this comparison only). These figures are for the year 2006.

Alburtis $38.16
Allentown City $41.73
Catasauqua $35.67
Coopersburg $39.60
Coplay $34.52
Emmaus $38.16
Fountain Hill $35.58
Hanover $35.67
Heidelberg $40.72
Lower Macungie/ Macungie $38.16
Lower Milford $39.60
Lowhill $40.72
Lynn $40.72
North/South Whitehall $33.86
Parkland $33.86
Salisbury $38.72
Slatington $56.82
Upper Macungie $33.86
Upper Milford $38.16
Upper Saucon $39.60
Washington $56.82
Weisenberg $40.72
Whitehall $34.52

Northampton County

Dollar amounts are per $1,000 of assessed property value (rounded to the nearest cent for the purposes of this comparison only). These figures are for the year 2006.

Bangor/East Bangor $41.95
Bath $37.25
Bethlehem $35.58
Bushkill $38.34
Chapman $37.25
Easton/Palmer $42.91
Freemansburg $35.58
Glendon $44.10
Hellertown $47.06
Lower Mt. Bethel $42.91
Lower Mt. Bethel Ind. $41.95
Lower Saucon $47.06
Moore $37.25
Nazareth $38.34
Northampton $37.25
Pen Argyl $35.29
Plainfield $35.29
Portland/Roseto $41.95
Stockerton/Tatamy $38.34
Upper Mt. Bethel $41.95
Walnutport $51.47

Note: Total Sales, listings and average price were provided by the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors' The Market Update, available at www. lehighvalleyarea.com. Other housing statistics reflect 2000 census data.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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