Number of home sales up, but selling price dips

The Capital Region saw a 14-percent uptick in the number of sales contracts for new home constructio

The Capital Region saw a 14-percent uptick in the number of sales contracts for new home construction and resales in July compared to a year ago, but also saw declining prices, the Greater Capital Association of Realtors said today.

GCAR Chief Executive Officer James Ader said the latest housing statistics are a sign that more people are making purchase decisions early to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time homebuyers credit, which requires buyers to close on their purchase by Nov. 30.

“That’s a good indicator that there should be more closed sales reported as we get into the fall,” Ader said.

Time is drawing short to be able to make a qualifying purchase because of the necessary time — a few months in many cases — required for mortgage application, inspections and other parts of the closing process, according to GCAR.

The pace of home closed sales in the Capital Region — which indicate when a home’s title is transferred, marking the completion of the sale — remained unchanged from where they were a year ago in July, but they’re still down 17 percent for the year.

Residential listings are up 11 percent with the median sale price in the Capital Region at $190,000, down 10 percent from last July.

GCAR said the Capital Region is showing signs that it is nearing the end of a long period of low levels of activity.

“If we look at the number of real estate transfers for the month of July and compare that against previous months this year, we see a steady increase in that number,” said Sandra Nardoci, GCAR president. “We hope to see this trend continue so that we can say, with confidence, that the housing market has reached its low point earlier in the year and a more active and exciting market will soon return.”

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