Affordable Housing Data

Housing Markets

The housing market in the Lehigh Valley, as measured by the federal government’s Housing Price Index (HPI), fell for the third consecutive quarter. In the 3rd quarter of 2009, the HPI fell to 184.39, a drop of 10.74% from the market high two years before.

Because the HPI is an index, it tells the value of a home relative to the base year, 1995. That means Lehigh Valley homes today are still worth 184% of their 1995 values. However, this downturn in the housing market has reduced values to their 2005 levels.

The HPI is compiled by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (, which oversees the federally backed home loan corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The HPI shows the indexed price for same-home sales where the loans were originated or purchased by these two government-chartered corporations. It excludes high-priced houses. The HPI for the Lehigh Valley includes Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey.



Another approach to examining the housing market is to look at loan originations, as compiled through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and published by an arm of the Federal Reserve Board called the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (

The following map shows the change in the number of home purchase loan originations from 2007 to 2008. In the suburban townships of Bethlehem, Forks, Palmer, Lower Macungie and Upper Macungie, the number of home loans dropped sharply in 2008.

Change in Originations

To learn more about the housing Market, see the report Housing in the Lehigh Valley 2008.