For immediate release
For additional information contact:
Laura Burns/Executive Officer
Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®
Ph: (518) 464-0191 x15
A BUSY SPRING EXPECTED
2015 is off to a strong start for the Capital Region housing market. Record low mortgage rates helped boost pending home sales by 7 percent in a year over year comparison of January 2014 to January 2015 to 519 for the month. While mortgage rates are still exceptionally low, there is great speculation as to whether they will remain where they are. Homebuyers have benefited from the low interest rates, but continue to be challenged by limited inventory in the Capital Region. The selection of homes on the market decreased by 12 percent to about 8 months of inventory bringing the number of available units for sale in January to 6,235. Despite the decline, with the spring market right around the corner, new listings and new construction are expected to boost the choices for buyers in the coming months.
Despite the lack of inventory, overall prices were lower when compared to January 2014 causing the median sale price in the Capital Region to dip by 3 percent to $187,500. As the market heats up, prices are expected to improve at a reasonable rate in 2015.
With predictions of a rise in mortgage rates possibly in the second half of 2015, the spring real estate market is certain to be a busy time for REALTORS® as buyers who are on the sidelines make their move to get in on the current historic low rates. Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® President, Cathy Griffin, Associate Broker with Keller Williams Capital District, pointed to wage increases and low gas prices as economic pushes that may boost the housing market. “These changes in the economy can turn sluggish markets into exciting ones. We are looking forward to an active spring market.”
The 3 percent down-payment programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should help potential new homeowners with financing. Meanwhile, sellers continue to receive offers closer to list price, getting on average 93 percent of the original list price. Laura Burns, CEO of the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® commented that the increase in the Housing Affordability Index is in concert with positive economic shifts occurring in the region. “Many homeowners contemplating selling will calculate the effect of an interest rate increase later in the year and will jump into the market within the next few months. This will bring inventory levels up and buyers and the rest of us out of hibernation as the snow begins to melt away in the spring”.