WXXI AM News

Home sales down slightly in 2017 as inventories remain low

Jan 26, 2018

Home sales were strong in 2017, despite an ongoing low inventory.

Housing market statistics for the year were released today during an economic breakfast event at Locust Hill Country Club.

Overall, the number of homes sold in 2017 was down by less than 3 percent, despite a 12 percent decrease in the number of homes for sale.

CEO for the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Jim Yockel says the story for 2017 is a strong market with many buyers, but the number of homes for sale continues to drop.

"The key in the spring will be how many new homes come on to the market.  There are plenty of buyers and there's activity now.  People are looking, people want to move, they just can't find what they need," he said. "It's a supply and demand question.  There's less supply and the demand is there, so prices go up.  Our median price was $130,000 up four percent from last year.  I don't know how high it will go, but that's the trend, multiple offers, lots of activity on the buyer's side, but not a lot of homes for sale."

Jim Yockel, GRAR, Rick Herman, RHBA, and Kim Chizuk, MBA, at Locust Hill for today's event
Credit Alex Crichton

The low inventory is a good sign for home remodelers and builders, according to Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders' Association.

"People can't find what they're looking for in today's market, because of the low inventory, so they're now thinking about building new which is good for the builders, and I think that is why we have a strong building market in Rochester and the Finger Lakes area."

Herman say one area of concern is the lack of a qualified workforce, so they've been working to get the word out to schools that residential trades are a great career choice.

Kim Chizuk with the Mortgage Bankers Association says interest rates did not increase as much as many had anticipated.

"That continues to support everyone's confidence and affordability in either building or buying that first home or next home," she said.

Herman adds that regional economist Gary Keith also spoke at the event, delivering what he calls a very positive message to the 200 industry professionals who attended the 2018 economic breakfast at Locust Hill Country Club this morning.