Year-end housing stats confirm boom times are over

The heated years of the Capital Region’s housing boom became a cool memory in 2007, with home sales
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The heated years of the Capital Region’s housing boom became a cool memory in 2007, with home sales declining to their slowest pace since 2004, according to statistics released today by the greater Capital Association of Realtors.

Area Realtors recorded a total of 9,726 single-family home sales last year, falling 8 percent short of 2006’s record of 10,524. During the same period, the area’s median sale price rose 2 percent to $192,500.

Even though a credit crunch, high energy prices and other economic woes threw a wrench in the nation’s housing industry, area Realtors managed to post their fourth best annual sales results.

And while they were pleased to see home values rise — bucking the nation’s downward trend — prices increased at their slowest rate since 1999’s 1 percent uptick.

“The statistics we’d like homeowners to notice is that even with a slowing market homes have held their value, contrary to what we are hearing from other parts of the country,” said GCAR President Marie Bettini.

But the price of homes in Saratoga County — once the region’s leader in sales and value growth — did not hold its own in 2007. The county’s median sale price slipped 1 percent to $256,000. Sales were also down 9 percent to 2,548. That is a significant change from 2003, when sales rose 21 percent and home values increased 10 percent.

Last year ended without a bang regionwide, as sales in December plunged 19 percent to 681, compared to a year earlier. But during the period, the monthly median sale price rose 4 percent to $188,000.

“It pretty much is as expected. We would have like to have seen it be a lot more active, but it wasn’t. It was still a good market,” said GCAR Chief Executive Officer James Ader.

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