For immediate release
For additional information contact:
Laura Burns/Executive Officer
Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®
Ph: (518) 464-0191
The Capital Region’s real estate market continues to present a challenge to buyers seeking their first home. With rising interest rates, small to some so far, many millennials may find it difficult to make the leap from renters to homeowners.
The three most prominent national market trends for residential real estate are the ongoing lack of abundant inventory, the steady upward movement of home prices and, most recently, year-over-year declines in home sales. Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® President, Susan Sommers of Better Homes and Gardens Tech Valley, commented that “the Capital Region’s real estate market is experiencing all three of these national market trends. It makes sense if the inventory is lower, there will be a reduction in the number of homes sold and that prices will feel the impact by creeping up”
The National Association of REALTORS® reports that sales declines are a natural result of fewer homes for sale, but higher prices generally indicate a higher level of demand leading to competitive bidding which is occurring across the Capital Region. In and around the Capital Region area Pending Sales increased 3 percent from February 2017 to 855 for the month. Closed Sales decreased by 2 percent from February 2017 to 567 for the month.
Inventory levels market-wide decreased 24.5 percent to 4,177 units. Inventory was also down in year-over-year comparison with 1,344 fewer homes for sale in February 2018 as compared to February 2017. Such reductions are sure to play a part in the price increases. The Median Sales Price increased by 12 percent to $207,875 compared to $185,000 last February. Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale rose to 94.9 percent.
Continued buying by those entering and/or moving up in the regional market put pressure on the months’ supply of inventory which dropped by 25.5 percent to 4 months. Supply was down from 5.5 months this time last year, continuing an ongoing trend both locally and nationally.
In February, prevailing mortgage rates continued to tip upward. Recent increases may have an impact on home affordability, which will leave buyers choosing between a higher payment or a lower-priced home.
While a 4.5 or 4.6 percent rate is still attractive, it could represent a new ceiling for potential first-time home buyers. Laura Burns, CEO of GCAR Statewide, remarked, “ New York’s population took a hit last year. People are moving out. During Lobby Day activities held at the Capital yesterday, REALTORS® advocated for implementation of the first-time homebuyer savings account that would provide a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 per year ($10,000 for couples) to help New Yorkers save for the purchase of a first home in New York – which has the highest closing costs in the nation.”
The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade association officially representing more than 3,300 REALTORS®. It is the local chapter of 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.