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Home Sales Fade in December

Posted by GCAR on January 29, 2018
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PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release

For additional information contact:
Laura Burns/Executive Officer
Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®
Ph: (518) 464-0191

Home sales activity continued to ride the year’s overall trend last month with Pending Sales increasing, by 3 percent over December 2016. The 653 Pending Sales are slightly above the 636 reported in December 2016 indicating that the decrease in sales has less to do with lost buyer interest and more to do with the continued low inventory in the Capital Region and throughout the nation.

The number of new listings dipped from 813 December 2016 to 707 last month; a 13 percent reduction that affected inventory levels market-wide causing a decrease of nearly 23 percent (4,567 units). This has been the trend for the year with December showing one of the sharpest decreases in inventory compared to the previous year. Months’ supply of inventory was also down, to 4.5 months, a 25 percent decrease.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says “The lack of supply over the past year has been eye-opening and is why, even with strong job creation pushing wages higher, home price gains – at 5.8 percent nationally in 2017 – doubled the pace of income growth and were even swifter in several markets.” Capital Region prices showed only a slight increase compared to last year at this time with the median sales price up 1 percent to $192,000. Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® president, Susan Sommers, commented that “Buyers seeking limited inventory usually create upward pressure on sales prices. With inventory down by more than 1,300 listings over last year, it’s surprising prices aren’t experiencing a stronger impact.”

Current listings on the market are getting snapped up by eager buyers. The average days on market dropped by 10.5% to 67 Days on Market. Buyer demand remains high and economic indicators that predict buying activity are largely positive. Percent of original list price received at sale is reported at 94 percent.

Housing demand remained strong in 2017, even in the face of higher mortgage rates. In December to December comparison, the Median Price of residential new construction rose by 12 percent to $411,712 in the Capital Region market. GCAR CEO, Laura Burns, noted, “More listings and more housing starts are anticipated in 2018, but it remains to be seen if the increases will be enough to shore up the number of available homes for sale after falling off the past several years”.

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The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade association officially representing more than 3,300 REALTORS®. It 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, appraisers and other companies servicing the real estate industry.

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