Capital Region

Capital Region real estate market starts to recover from shutdown

Median sale price increases even as sales volume lags due to pandemic

ALBANY — The Capital Region residential real estate market showed a partial rebound in May, with sales volume substantially higher than in April though still well below what was seen in May 2019.

Like much of the economy, the real estate market was crippled by restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially in April, when the pandemic was at its peak in New York state.

Also of note, the median sales price was 9% higher in May 2020 than in May 2019.


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With reopening of the economy beginning in May and decline in the infection rate, sales activity began to increase, the Greater Capital Region Association of Realtors reported Friday.

Laura Burns, CEO of GCAR, said in a news release:

“It’s evident that as a result of the improved COVID-19 numbers and more relaxed policies, buyers have returned to the market in full force.”

The resumption of construction should add some inventory for sale, but what the market really needs is for more homeowners to list their property for sale, Burns said.

Year-over-year, the number of new and pre-owned houses newly listed for sale was down 58% in April and 39% in May.

The relatively small number of houses listed for sale in the region has been a phenomenon far predating the COVID-19 crisis.

Housing sales did not halt during the worst of the pandemic; they continued with the aid of technology. The sales numbers were down significantly, but that is easing now. Houses were shown to potential buyers more than 8,000 times in the first two weeks of June, GCAR added.

Regionwide, GCAR recorded 1,028 pending sales and 756 closed sales in May 2020, down 23% and 35% respectively from May 2019. Median sale price was $234,950, up 9% from a year earlier, and there were 1,388 new residential listings, 39% fewer than May 2019.


Sellers received 96% of their original asking price on average in May 2020, unchanged from May 2019.

Here are the number of pending sales and median sale price in May 2020 in Capital Region counties, and the percentage change from May 2019:

  • Albany 259 -26% $241,500 8%
  • Fulton 40 -9% $146,262 30%
  • Montgomery 25 -36% $117,850 -6%
  • Rensselaer 134 -9% $225,000 18%
  • Saratoga 238 -31% $302,000 -1%
  • Schoharie 22 -4% $125,000 -3%
  • Schenectady 183 -9% $189,450  10%

GCAR’s roughly 3,000 members handle many of the residential real estate transactions in the greater Capital Region and southern Adirondacks. Its Global Multiple Listing Service provides a statistical database on these transactions.

Categories: Business, News

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