Declining housing inventory and increased activity indicate that buyers may no longer have a negotiating advantage as the market becomes balanced, the president of the Greater Capital Association of Realtors said today.
“The fact that the inventory of homes for sale has decreased by 15.4 percent from last year at this time; and that contracts of sale for March rose when compared to March 2012 shows us that what was once a very strong market for buyers has reached a much needed balance where sellers are not at a negotiating disadvantage,” said GCAR president Miguel Berger.
The average price in March increased from $223,134 from $207,379 (up 8 percent) in the same month a year earlier. For the year to date, the average sale price in the region is $214,588 (up 4 percent) compared to $206,707 a year earlier.
The number of listings in the region in March dropped from 1,559 in 2012 to 1,485 this year, but the number of contracts of sale rose from 798 to 836.
“The March year-to-year increase in contracts of sale, the point where buyer and seller reach agreement on the terms of a sale, marks the 16th month out of the last 17 where this was the fact. Clearly buyers are returning to the market.
"And as we see the market start to balance itself we can also report that housing prices are appreciating at a ‘normal’ rate. All in all the market appears to be healthy and we expect this to be a long-term trend.”
James Ader, GCAR chief executive officer, said closed sales are up 1 percent over the same quarter in 2012, and the median sales price and average sales price are up 3 and 4 percent, respectively.
“Another very positive sign for the real estate market is that there do not seem to be any indications that interest rates will be rising in the near future," Ader added.
GCAR is a professional trade association representing 2,600 real estate professionals in the Capital Region.
The report is based upon data collected by the Capital Region Multiple Listing Service.
County-by-county residential data (new construction and resale) for March 2013, compared to March 2012, is as follows:
• Albany County: Closed sales, up 12 percent (150 from 134); average sale, up 8 percent ($226,959 from $209,693); median sale, down 2 percent ($190,000 from $194,500)
• Montgomery County: Closed sales, down 29 percent (10 from 14); average sale, up 72 percent ($176,090 from $102,232); median sale, up 8 percent ($94,300 from $87,500)
• Rensselaer County: Closed sales, up 37 percent (86 from 63); average sale, up 15 percent ($191,244 from $166,345); median sale, up 13 percent ($180,100 from $159,200)
• Saratoga County: Closed sales, down 10 percent (150 from 167); average sale, up 6 percent ($293,515 from $276,043); median sale, equal ($255,000 from $254,400)
• Schenectady County: Closed sales, down 26 percent (78 from 105); average sale, down 8 percent ($169,145 from $184,714); median sale, down 13 percent ($149,200 from $171,000)
• Schoharie County: Closed sales, down 33 percent (10 from 15); average sale, up 87 percent ($150,405 from $80,374); median sale, up 151 percent ($138,000 from $55,000)