Home sales in the Albany, New York, region continued to improve in July, a trend that the area’s largest Realtors group said shows “the housing slump is slowly coming to an end.”
Closed sales of new and existing single-family homes increased 4 percent in July compared to a year ago, and sales are up 12 percent for the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.
A total of 716 homes sold in July, based on the preliminary report. There were 4,338 sales year-to-date.
The figures are typically revised upward as some agents report their sales after the monthly report is compiled.
The median sale price in July increased 4 percent, to $200,000, and the average price increased 3 percent, to $230,278.
The median is the point at which half the sales were more and half were less. It is considered a better gauge of the overall market than the average.
The report is based on sales through the Capital Region Multiple Listing Service. The CRMLS spans 11 counties, but most sales are in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
Another positive sign: pending sales in July increased 13 percent. Pending sales measures the number of contracts signed, rather than the number of closed sales. Since it typically takes about two months for a contract to proceed to a closing, it looks as if the rebound will continue.
“It appears safe to say that increased sales are now a trend,” GCAR Chief Executive OfficerJames Ader said, “a trend we expect to continue through year end.”
Increased demand, a smaller inventory of homes for sale, historically low mortgage interest rates and improved consumer confidence are factors driving the improvement in the local real estate market.
Even with the turnaround, the market is still considerably softer than during the boom years of the mid-2000s. In 2007, for instance, there were 5,549 homes sold during the first seven months of the year, or 28 percent more than this year.
Unlike other areas of the country where prices dropped by double digits during the recession, Albany-area home values did not suffer as much. The median price year-to-date in 2007 was $191,900, compared to $189,900 today.
Here are the results in July for the four largest counties:
• Albany: pending sales up 23 percent; closed sales up 7 percent; average price up 1 percent to $247,805; median price up 5 percent to $219,900
• Rensselaer: pending sales up 18 percent; closed sales down 1 percent; average price down 7 percent to $182,547; median price down 8 percent to $166,000
Saratoga: pending sales up 2 percent; closed sales up 4 percent; average price up 2 percent to $287,266; median price up 5 percent to $265,000
Schenectady: pending sales up 2 percent; closed sales up 6 percent; average price up 12 percent to $202,539; median price up 3 percent to $179,000
Written by : Michael Demasi – The Business Review
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