Capital Region housing market tight and more expensive at start of summer


ALBANY — The Capital Region housing market is increasing its value at midyear, with a limited supply of houses for sale driving up sale prices even amid sharp increases in mortgage interest rates.

The Greater Capital Association of Realtors reported Friday that the median sale price of a single-family home in May 2022 was $278,999 – 10% higher than in May 2021.

For the first five months of this year, the median price is 8% higher than January-May 2021, GCAR said.

The number of closed sales, however, is 14% lower in the first five months of 2022 than in the same period of 2021. This shortage of inventory drives the classic supply-and-demand dynamic that has long been in play in the Capital Region housing market: When demand exceeds supply, the price often rises.

Houses now cost more upfront and a lot more over the course of years. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped from 2.93% to 5.78% from May 2021 to May 2022.

“While the Fed’s recent rate increases may edge out some potential first-time home buyers and others on a tight budget, at this time, lack of inventory is still pushing sale prices to exceed list prices,” GCAR CEO Laura Burns said in a message accompanying the May sales statistics.

“There is still some uncertainty about how and when the real estate market will adjust but for the summer months, Sellers in the Capital Region remain in a good position and rates remain affordable,” she said.

It’s a fast-paced market, with newly listed houses selling quickly and for more than asking price in many cases.

Houses sold through GCAR’s Global Multiple Listing Service — which handles many but not all housing sales in and near the Capital Region — commanded 102.4% of their original asking price on average in May.

The market for new houses is especially expensive, in part due to the high cost of building supplies. The median sale price of a new house sold through the MLS was $502,806 in May, which was 37% more than in May 2021.

In area counties, GCAR reported the following tally of closed sales and median prices for the first five months of 2022, and the percentage changes from the same period of 2021:

  • Albany: 970 -11% $265,000 8%
  • Fulton: 203 -4% $160,819 15%
  • Montgomery: 122 -23% $155,035 4%
  • Rensselaer: 552 -2% $240,000 7%
  • Saratoga: 1,046 -15% $374,007 12%
  • Schenectady: 654 -20% $211,500 6%
  • Schoharie: 104 -7% $185,000 12%

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