For release Thursday, March 20, 2014
For additional information contact:
Laura Burns/Executive Officer
Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®
Ph: (518) 464-0191 x16
Nationwide, many markets have endured rough winters, in some cases leading to even more pronounced seasonal lows. The Capital Region is no exception. New listings were down 9 percent compared to February 2013 and pending sales were down 7.0 percent compared to last February. In the Capital Region, inventory levels fell 6.4 percent from last year to 6,389 units. Those selling attractive, well priced properties should still expect multiple offers. Inventory remains near a 6-year low, but rising prices have already improved consumer confidence and will soon unlock some underwater inventory, perhaps in the coming months.
With a look towards the spring market opening up a bit, the overall median sales price rallied 5 percent higher to $204,500. 20 of the past 24 months have seen year-over-year price gains. The supply-demand balance favors price growth.
GCAR President Al Picchi noted, “Currently there is approximately 8.5 months’ supply of inventory in the region down from 9.8 months in February 2013. With the exception of a few remaining areas, segments and price points, sellers are in a much better position now than in the recent past. On average, sellers are receiving 93.0 percent of their original list price at the point of sale. That’s very positive for them.”
GCAR CEO Laura Burns added, “Another positive impact on Capital Region sellers and buyers is the recent congressional action on flood insurance. The National Association of REALTORS® has been working hard on legislation to curtail the escalating flood insurance premium hikes and had success last week as Congress passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The bill, which is expected to be signed by President Obama, repeals FEMA’s authority to raise premiums at time of sale or implementation of a new flood map, and refunds the disproportionate premium amount to buyers who closed on a property before FEMA notified them of the rate increase.”
The broader economic picture remains positive. Nationally, we’ve seen 48 straight months of private job growth, we have the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008, interest rates remain attractive, inflation has been tame and GDP is on the up and up.
The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade association officially representing the real estate industry since 1920 (formerly the Albany County Association of REALTORS®) and is the local chapter for the New York State and National Associations of REALTORS®. GCAR is composed of a broad base of professionals including licensed real estate brokers and sales agents, multi-dwelling owners, appraisers, mortgage and banking professionals, title and abstract companies and other companies servicing the real estate industry.