The second quarter of the 2015 housing market is already off to a promising start.
Locally, Pending Sales increased more than 25 percent from April 2014. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, noted this is a nationwide trend. Nationally, existing-home sales are measurably higher than a year ago, and strengthened in March as more buyers entered the market as the spring buying season got underway.
“Sustained job growth and interest rates below 4 percent have been the catalyst behind the improvement in sales,” said Yun.
Locally, inventory levels market-wide were down just over 11 percent, but this is still not quite cause for alarm, as the selling season is just underway in most neighborhoods – delayed due to the extended winter season. Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® President, Cathy Griffin, Keller Williams Capital District, shared her perspective, “Homes are moving quickly, especially if they’re priced right. This is encouraging news for sellers who may be considering listing their property. If history is any indication, the choices buyers have will increase quite a bit over the next few weeks.”
Prices are up over last year. The Median Sales Price increased 6 percent to $190,347 signaling a healthy, growing market. Sellers are receiving 93 percent of Original List Price.
The national homeownership percentage is the lowest since 1993. Rental prices continue to astonish with accelerated price growth, which may cause some to think twice before locking in a 12-month lease. Lending practices and mortgage rates will also have a decided effect on the number of buyers who will become homeowners this year. Laura Burns, CEO of the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® noted, “Rising rents in the region should result in an increase in homebuyers as they determine that building equity in their own home while taking advantage of the mortgage interest deduction may be in their best interest financially”.
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.