This is a condensed version of the story that originally appeared in the July 2020 Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® eMagazine. Read the full story here.
Companies will choose to remain or relocate to regions that are growing their talent pool, particularly younger professionals aged 18 to 34. These employees are placing more importance on their quality of life and work-life balance, seeking affordability, accessibility, and opportunity for themselves and their families. When you factor in coronavirus concerns, city quarantines, and shutdowns, homeowners and renters looking for a way out of big-city density and lifestyle may find the perfect answer by purchasing homes in Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley is a hotbed for business activity and has been ranked as one of the top five growing metropolitan markets in the Northeast for the past five years. New houses, apartments and offices are being built across the Lehigh Valley and in the downtowns of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, and the population continues to grow. The percentage of young workers living here exceeds the rest of Pennsylvania and even Philadelphia.
Lehigh and Northampton counties are two of only 20 counties in Pennsylvania that have grown in population since 2010. There is a direct correlation between economic growth and population growth. and the economies that are successful are the ones with growing communities.
If you live in Lehigh Valley, you know the benefits the region offers people, but the outside world is mostly unaware of what the Lehigh Valley is and what it represents for people. With that in mind, a coalition of Lehigh Valley regional partners came together to form the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley Alliance, an effort that will increase outside awareness of the Lehigh Valley, enhance a positive image of the region, and market it as a desirable and attractive place for talent, particularly among the 18 to 34 age demographic.
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Discover Lehigh Valley, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce officially kicked off the Alliance earlier this year, and have brought in the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors as a partner in the housing and relocation effort.
Working together allows these organizations to combine strengths and pool resources around common strategies to position the Lehigh Valley as an attractive and welcoming place for visitors, professionals, families and companies, while celebrating and enriching the quality of life in our region.
“The time has come that we tell a consistent message the same way about the quality of life, the attractiveness, and the unique place that is the Lehigh Valley,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “It’s a natural alignment, because we’re all here for the Lehigh Valley.”
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, people had been eager to leave larger metros in search of more space and opportunity for their families. Lehigh Valley has long been an affordable alternative to nearby areas, and now it also offers quality of life benefits that can compete with those found in larger cities, including excellent schools, strong health care networks, arts, entertainment, restaurants, parks, and outdoor recreation.
In comparison to some of its neighboring metros, Lehigh Valley is 128% more affordable than Manhattan, 53% more affordable than Washington, D.C., and 44% more affordable than Boston. Residents and businesses seeking locations outside these densely populated urban areas due to the pandemic may find the perfect location in Lehigh Valley.
Just last year, Lehigh Valley was rated one of the best markets in the country for homebuyers according to two research reports by realtor.com.
Lehigh Valley earned a spot among the top 10 Markets for Millennial Homebuyers according to realtor.com’s Q3 2019 Generational Propensity Report. Among the 100 largest markets by population, Lehigh Valley ranked 6th due to the strong job prospects for individuals and lower housing prices than in the regions’ largest metropolitan areas.
Lehigh Valley also was rated as the number-one market in the country for improved homebuying affordability in the last 12 months, according to realtor.com’s Q3 2019 Affordability Report.
To help move the needle, the Alliance recently created a Relocation Guide to convince people that the Lehigh Valley is the right place for them to call home. The guide was produced as a collaborative effort between the Alliance partners with valuable input from the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors.
The new 16-page guide is meant for newcomers to the region and those who are curious to learn more about why the Lehigh Valley is a great place to live, work, visit, and learn. You’ll find a brief overview of Lehigh Valley, economic, education, and housing data, and personal testimonials from people living and working in the region. Those stories are also told through instagram with @lvmadepossible.
The guide is available to all members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors, regional partners, employers and local stakeholders to use as a recruiting tool as interest in Lehigh Valley homes and apartments is expected to remain high. Hard copies are available for pickup and the digital version can be shared or embedded onto your sites.
Lehigh Valley’s unique and authentic nature, growing economy, and emerging cultural attractions, restaurants, and livable downtown spaces will continue to attract young people to move here, companies to come here, and entrepreneurs to invest here.
To learn more, contact Mike Keller, Marketing Manager for Made Possible in Lehigh Valley