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The most recent census (2002) estimated the population of Northampton County at just over 273,000, an increase of 2.3% since the last census. That means that the county is growing as fast as any other county in the Commonwealth. That’s all due to location and an outstanding economic climate. Even as the final days of the giant industrial company that once ruled the world of steel production – Bethlehem Steel – came to an end, this exceptional county easily overcame Bethlehem Steel’s demise and prospered anew.
Today, Northampton County has over 100,000 households, with home-ownership at nearly 75%. The county is comprised of two cities (Bethlehem and Easton), 19 boroughs (Bangor to Wind Gap), and 17 townships (Allen to Williams). There are ten public school districts in the county. The Diocese of Allentown also has a significant educational (K-12) presence. Three fine colleges and universities (Lafayette in Easton and Moravian and Lehigh in Bethlehem) are located in Northampton County.
The current population of Bethlehem is about 72,000 (20 square miles), making it one of the larger medium size cities in the Commonwealth, much larger, for example, than Harrisburg or Lancaster. Easton’s current population is about 26,000 (4.3 square miles). Easton has been the county seat since 1752 when the county was created as part of a partition from Bucks County.
Although Easton was the dominant city at the time of the American Revolution, Bethlehem has long been the hub of industrial, retail, and professional services. The current median house price is $89,300 in either Bethlehem City or Easton City. Prices in the cities will range up to $400,000. Bethlehem and Easton offer a variety of housing styles ranging from historic, 1750s houses, to new construction with architectural styles ranging from Tudor, bi-level, ranch, and two-story colonial. The suburbs adjoining the two cities provide Northampton County with all of its potential growth since both Easton and Bethlehem are basically fully developed and land locked.
All of the rapidly growing suburban communities, and there are many throughout the county, offer everything a family may want in terms of housing styles and amenities, including condominiums, townhouses, and single family homes. Basic condo units start around $90,000, with single family homes ranging from $130,000 to $350,000. Right now, there are fifteen new construction projects under way throughout the county, with single homes starting at about $130,000. The county also has several areas that are exceptional. Saucon valley, for example, is home to the most prestigious homes in the Lehigh Valley.
As you look at the various communities and neighborhoods that are scattered throughout the county, we think you will quickly discover that just about every neighborhood will feel “just like home” to you. That is the way it has always been in our community. Northampton County is a great place to live.
For the most part, housing costs in Northampton County are much lower than most other Northeast regions; your housing dollars buy more in Northampton County for a number of reasons – the cost of living is much lower here than in the New York City and New Jersey market; median housing costs in the county are an affordable $140,000. Pennsylvania’s personal income and school district property taxes are also much lower than New York or New Jersey.
Wherever you look through-out the county, whether you are looking in the heart of one of our two cities or in a fully developed borough or township, or looking at a new property in a formerly rural township, you will find your housing options will range from beautiful historic homes and charming farmhouses to modern new construction, convenient town homes, and a broad range of condominium properties.
Seniors also find the area appealing with a selection of independent, assisted living and full-health care communities, always conveniently located close to the area’s transportation resources.
No matter your choice of residence, there’s plenty of space for quiet country living or the convenience of a city neighborhood.