Disconnect between home values, sales widens

The disconnect between home values and sales widened last month in the greater Capital Region, accor
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The disconnect between home values and sales widened last month in the greater Capital Region, according to statistics released Monday by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.

Closed single-family sales regionwide in February plunged 29 percent to 431, compared with a year earlier. During the same period, the region’s median sale price jumped 8 percent to $189,900.

February’s statistics showed that the sales slowdown worsened between January and February, even while home values gained more traction. The slowdown last month was most severe in Albany and Schenectady counties, where sales fell 36 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

After beginning the year with a strong start, Saratoga County’s housing market stumbled in February. County sales over the year dropped 31 percent and home values fell 3 percent.

For the first two months, sales regionwide fell 23 percent to 940 and home values rose 3 percent to $190,000, compared with the same period of 2007, according to GCAR.

The nation’s sales slowdown was not as severe as the local one. U.S. single-family home sales fell 23 percent over the year to 4.47 million in February. During the same month, the U.S. median sale price declined 8.7 percent to $193,900, according to statistics released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.

“It’s really a pleasant surprise that values are holding,” said GCAR President Marie Bettini said.

Bettini said home values continue to rise because demand for area homes remains strong, especially for three-bedroom starter homes in the $200,000 range. She said “spring is going to be a stronger period.”

NAR spokesman Walt Molony said the Albany area’s stable job market rooted in the state government has helped keep demand strong enough to push up home values. Austin, Texas, is another state capital that has seen increases in prices and decreases in sales.

Categories: Business

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