Signs of balance seen in latest housing data

The local housing market has continued its upward trend so far this year, with the latest monthly da

The local housing market has continued its upward trend so far this year, with the latest monthly data showing signs that the market is starting to shift from a buyer’s market to one that is more balanced.

The Capital Region is showing a quicker return to balance than other metropolitan areas, according to local real estate professionals.

Closed sales in April were up 24 percent from a year earlier in an 11-county area that includes the Capital Region, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors. In fact, the immediate Capital Region experienced gains last month in pending sales, closed sales and the median sale price of single-family homes.

“As the market moves toward a position where neither buyer nor seller has an overwhelming advantage, we will see a market that is poised to become active and exciting,” GCAR CEO James Ader said in a news release Tuesday.

The local market tends to be less volatile than most. It was sluggish over the past few years, with declining sales and practically stagnant prices, but it hadn’t seen the highs and lows that many other regions in the country did.

Tony Ianniello believes the regional market is balancing itself in part because of the influx of high-tech jobs.

“The employment situation has been favorably influenced by GlobalFoundries, General Electric plants expanding in Schenectady, research and development at places like the NanoCollege in Albany,” said Ianniello, founder and senior partner at Ianniello, Anderson, Sciocchetti & Reilly, a law firm with offices throughout the Capital Region. “We’re becoming more and more a hub for high technology, and we’re seeing the influence of that now.”

Balance is attained in the market when supply and demand are about the same. The Capital Region has tilted more toward being a buyer’s market, meaning its inventory of homes exceeded demand for those homes.

A few things have lifted demand: declining unemployment, growing confidence in the economy and a mild winter.

“What you’re seeing in the Capital Region is more of a balancing of supply and demand,” said Ianniello. “We see buyers coming here and purchasing new homes. They’re coming from all over the world — India, Singapore, China, Europe and many parts of the world where we weren’t previously seeing buyers. So I think a lot has changed for the positive.”

GCAR reported a few other positive figures for the market. Contracts of sale (pending sales) and the median sale price on homes are both up — two factors that indicate a move toward balance.

There were 809 pending sales in April, a 16 percent boost from 695 a year earlier. Meanwhile, the median price of a single-family home rose 4 percent, from $180,000 to $187,500, in the same time period.

Categories: Business, Schenectady County

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