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Gearing up for another busy year in real estate

2021 was a busy year for the housing market. Will that trend continue into the new year?

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA — "New year, new home"— the sign outside ERA One Source Realty in South Abington Township near Clarks Summit beckons potential buyers to start shopping for their dream home. But finding buyers is not the challenge realtors are facing these days.

"I thought maybe it would start to slow down a bit, but we're heading into the second year of this craziness, said realtor Leah Gianacopoulos from ERA Real Estate. "But I love it, so I'm not complaining."

Gianacopoulos says first-time homebuyers are the driving force behind the massive demand.

"I think the low-interest rates have a lot to do with it, but I also think a lot of millennials are taking jobs here now that they don't have to live in the city. Our cost of living here is a lot lower, and you can get a lot more for your money," added Gianacopoulos.

And the demand is still there. From the moment you spot a listing to the moment it's sold, only 24 hours may have passed. So now the big question is, will this last throughout 2022?

"I thought it was gonna calm down, but it doesn't seem that rates are gonna be raised too high. So I think this will continue, especially in our area. I think it will continue through 2022," said realtor Nisha Arora from ERA Real Estate.

If you're looking for that dream home and not seeing many "for sale" signs, realtors say don't give up, but be realistic with your timeline.  

"Hopefully, the inventory will keep popping up. We're heading into the spring selling season, so that will definitely help us," said Gianacopoulos.

The demand for homes has not slowed down, driven by young, first-time home buyers.

"We call them the pandemic refugees. They've escaped the cities and come here based upon affordability, cost of living, school districts," explained Arora.

"And we're close to the Allentown, Philadelphia, New York City areas, so it's a lot more affordable for these kids that are graduating and taking on a job to buy a house here," said Gianacopoulos.

The agency has about 150 properties listed right now. But the realtors I spoke with say pre-pandemic they were used to having more than 500 at any given time.

"Sometimes, they're only lasting 24-48 hours. The turnaround time is crazy," said Gianacopoulos.

And all signs point toward this trend continuing in the new year.

"Be patient. We're coming into the season where the inventory gets a little bit better. And as long as you have a realtor that's there to guide you, you'll definitely find something, and as long as you have a realistic time frame, it definitely is possible," added Gianacopoulos.

For more from ERA One Source Realty near Clarks Summit, click here.