The Capital Region had a solid real estate market in 2012, with an increased number of home sales and rising sales prices, according to the latest report from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.
“We can now look at all of 2012 and report that the activity we had seen from month to month resulted in a full year of market improvement,” said Nina Amadon, immediate past president of GCAR. “The number of sales were up from 2011, and the value of homes sold, of particular importance to homeowners, rebounded nicely from a less than exciting 2011.”
Closed sales rose 15 percent last year from the year before, while pending sales rose 21 percent in the 11 counties that GCAR collects data from — which include Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie and Montgomery counties.
For the most part, the immediate Capital Region experienced a year-over-year rise in pending sales, closed sales and medial sale prices last year.
GCAR CEO James Ader said he considers changes in housing prices to be the most interesting metric for buyers and owners.
“And in 2012 the median price was up by 4 percent over 2011, while the average price was up 3 percent,” he said. “Both of these figures further enforce our reports of a continually improving market and the underlying strength of real property as an investment.”
Saratoga County experienced the region’s strongest activity, with the highest median sale price, and largest increases in pending and closed sales. Its 2012 median sale price was $258,000 — up 2 percent from one year earlier. Pending sales rose 22 percent last year to 2,461, and closed sales rose 17 percent to 2,314 over this period.
The median sale price of a home increased the most in Montgomery County, however, rising 12 percent last year from $86,600 to $97,000. There were 192 pending sales last year, an 8 percent increase from the year before. But there were only 183 closed sales, an 8 percent decrease from 2011 to 2012.
Albany County had a median sale price of $202,500 last year, up 4 percent from 2011. Pending sales rose 15 percent to 2,235 and closed sales rose 12 percent to 2,140.
Schenectady County had a median sale price of $163,000, up 3 percent from 2011. Pending sales rose 14 percent to 1,330 and closed sales rose 15 percent to 1,258.
Schoharie County was the only area whose median sale price took a dip — from $110,000 to $106,000 for a 4 percent drop. Pending sales rose 17 percent, though, to 206. And closed sales rose 7 percent to 190.
Incoming GCAR President Miguel Berger said he expects this year’s market to continue as a buyer’s market, but also move toward balance.
“The promise of continued low interest rates combined with a leveling of the buyer versus seller player field should result in an exciting market for all of 2013,” he said. “GCAR looks for an excellent year in the Capital Region’s residential market.”