Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Low Inventories Drive Syracuse Home Prices Higher

Home Prices Rise Almost 14 Percent in the First Quarter

Shrinking supplies of homes for sale and healthy demand from buyers helped increase the average price of a home in Syracuse to $93,305, up 14 percent compared to last year, according to the first quarter 2018 market report from HUNT Real Estate ERA.
Inventories of homes for sale in the Syracuse market fell 33 percent in the past 12 months, putting pressure on prices as buyers compete for homes. A flood of new listings as the spring season gets underway in earnest could reduce the inventory gap.
Lingering winter weather in the first three months of the year slowed the real estate market, contributing to a 13 percent decline in sales compared to a year ago and a decline of 31 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017. Despite the winter storms, however, homes sold in an average of 31 days compared to 46 days a year ago.
Prices of homes increased 14 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017. Despite the rising prices, Syracuse ranked ninth for affordability among the nation’s 100 largest metros in a recent study by the National Association of Realtors. Among the 35 markets that have improved their affordability over the past year, Syracuse was ranked second in the nation for the progress it made to improve its affordability last year.
Supplies of Syracuse Homes for Sale
January 2016 to January 2018

Regional trends
In Onondaga County, supplies of homes for sale have declined 34 percent, slightly more than in Syracuse. New listings in Onondaga County have slipped by 8 percent in the past year. Prices are up by 4 percent over the past 12 months - the county’s average home price reached $144,651 compared to $139,609 in the first quarter of 2017. Home sales for the first quarter fell 19 percent since this time last year.
“First-time buyers who are looking for an affordable home should note Syracuse is one of the most affordable markets in New York State, according to the National Association of Realtors. It’s also a great market for home sellers who want to take advantage of rising prices and faster selling time.  Homes in Syracuse now sell in about a month,” said Peter F. Hunt, Chairman & CEO of HUNT Real Estate Corp.

How to Sell Your Home on a Timetable: 5 Tips to Help Sell Your Home Fast

When you’re selling your home, timing is everything. Sometimes, though, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the perfect time to list your home on the market. So what can you do when you’re on a timetable and you need to get your home sold quickly?

Here are 5 tips to help you sell your home fast:

1. Declutter and Depersonalize. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you want to make sure your home is looking its best, both in both pictures and in person. Cleaning and removing clutter from your home makes the space appear larger, and depersonalizing your home by removing items such as personal photos or toys allows prospective buyers to view your home as a blank slate to potentially make their own.

2. The Price is Right. It's difficult to competitively yet objectively price your own home - and price is one of the biggest factors to take into consideration for potential buyers. For those reasons, and many others, it’s always best to work with a real estate professional when it comes to pricing. The experience and resources at a real estate agent’s disposal will be invaluable in determining the pricing that makes the most sense for your home so that it sells quickly.

3. Be Flexible.
It will be difficult to sell your home in a short timeframe if your home is not available for viewing! Make sure your house is always ready to show, and that you’re always ready to have it available and accessible for viewing by potential buyers.

4. Consider Incentives. You might not think that certain items you own have much value, but you never know what could appeal to potential buyers. Moving out of state? Consider leaving large furniture, like a couch or dining room table. These items may appeal to first time homebuyers, who see furniture as a major expense for their future home.

5. List with HUNT.
Did you know that HUNT offers a Seller Security Plan? The Seller Security Plan provides confidence that the sale of your home will be completed in a timely and efficient manner—or we’ll buy it from you. The ERA Seller Security PlanSM (SSP) is designed for the single family home seller on the move, and if qualified and accepted into the plan, you’ll get peace of mind knowing your property will be taken care of in a finite sales period. Reach out to a HUNT Agent to learn more.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Rochester Home Prices Decline as Inventories Shrink

Average Price Fell 8 Percent in First Quarter
The first quarter of 2018 saw prices of Rochester homes decrease by 8 percent as fewer than half as many homes were listed for sale compared to last year. Sales, however, improved by 8.6 percent over the 12 month period, according to the first quarter market report from HUNT Real Estate.
Inventories in Rochester are continuing to fall and fewer owners are listing their homes for sale as the spring selling season begins. Active listings of homes for sale have declined by 61 percent since the fourth quarter of 2017 and new listings are also down by 6.3 percent since last year at this time.
The city’s average home price declined 8 percent to $74,432 - down from $80,938 in the first quarter of 2017. Strong demand cut the average period for houses to sell in the city to 30 days, a 31 percent decline over the year. Stable prices encouraged buyers and sales increased over the first quarter of 2017, but they fell 28 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 when buyers and sellers rushed to close sales before the year ended.
Shrinking supplies have resulted in homes in Rochester being slightly less affordable than they were a year ago. Rochester’s affordability rating on the National Association of Realtors’ Affordability Index fell 2.9 points in the past year. However, the Rochester market is still more affordable than most of the top 100 markets in the nation, according to the NAR report.
In Monroe County, supplies of homes for sale dropped 54 percent over the past year. Prices of homes in Monroe County have increased slightly by 2.5 percent, making the average sale price $149,603. Homes spent an average of 39 days on the market, down from 49 days compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Neighboring cities and suburbs also experienced declines in inventory. Parma had 17 percent fewer listings in the first quarter of 2018 than the first quarter of 2017. The average sale price in Parma increased less than 2 percent to $179,268. Sales rose 12 percent over the past year.
In Brighton, listings have decreased by 33 percent since the first quarter of last year. In that same timeframe, prices of homes have increased by 25 percent. In Irondequoit, prices have risen 12 percent and inventories have gone down 33 percent over the last year.  
We expect demand to grow stronger in the Rochester market as the spring sales market takes off. Tight supplies and strong demand will raise prices, making 2018 a great year to sell. Buyers, who face rising mortgage rates as well as rising prices, are well advised to move quickly this spring,” said Peter F. Hunt, Chairman & CEO of HUNT Real Estate Corp.

Rochester Active Listings

January 2017 through March 2018

4/21 Radio Show: Patrick Kaler

Your host, Peter Hunt, welcomes Patrick Kaler to the show.

Patrick is President & CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Together, Peter leads the discussion on the development and growth of Buffalo hotels.

To find out more, listen to this week's show. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Shortage of Homes for Sale Plague Erie and Niagara County

Conditions Create Strong Sellers' Market
The shortage of homes for sale that plagued the Greater Buffalo-Niagara market in 2017 increased during the first quarter of 2018. Rising home prices and growing demand, however, according to the first quarter market report from HUNT Real Estate ERA, are setting the stage for a strong sellers’ market for the opening of the spring sales season.
Late winter storms contributed to a decline in real estate sales as well as a year-over-year drop in new listings for the start of the quarter – potential buyers stayed home and the bad weather made it difficult for many homeowners to prepare their homes for sale. Warmer weather in the next couple of months may help drive demand and put upward pressure on prices, creating ideal conditions for sellers.
Buffalo’s inventories declined steeply in the first quarter of 2018 and are still declining, but at one-third the pace of the region as a whole. In contrast, prices rose by 27 percent in the first quarter and listings in Buffalo increased 37 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

Shortages Across the Region
Statistics show that nationwide inventories of homes in January and February fell 9.2 percent and 8.1 percent respectively compared to 2017. In the first quarter, inventories in Erie and Niagara Counties fell at a rate double that of national trends. Both regions ended the first few months of the year with fewer active listings than in nearly a decade.
In Erie County, first quarter inventories plunged 27 percent from the fourth quarter and are 18 percent below levels of a year ago. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, new listings in Erie County were seven percent lower and sales fell by 18 percent. Prices of homes rose less than two percent over the past year.
In Niagara County, inventories fell nearly 25 percent from the fourth quarter of last year and in the first quarter, homes sold in less than two months, nearly twice as fast as they did a year ago. In the first quarter, new listings were down 32 percent and active listings were down 31 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Similar to Erie County, prices in Niagara County rose only slightly during the first quarter.

Buffalo Home Prices Are Booming
Buffalo dramatically reduced its inventories last year. During the peak sales season last year, inventories were half the size of the same period compared to 2016. Prices rose 27 percent between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 in response to tighter inventories, but demand remained strong. Sales rose 6 percent during the same period and sales volume rose from $51,744,436 in the first quarter of 2017 to $67,644,244 in 2018.  Homes in Buffalo are also selling 30 percent faster. Average sale price over the rolling 12 months was $136,443 and sales are averaging 218 per month.

Buffalo Active Listings
March 2016 to March 2018

Erie County’s Prices Set to Rise
Inventories in Erie County as a whole are falling faster than in Buffalo. Supplies of homes for sale are down 18 percent in contrast to this time last year, and new listings have declined seven percent over the same period. Tighter inventories are putting pressure on buyers as days on market have declined 18 percent over the past year. Average prices are up only 1.6 percent from the fourth quarter of last year and sales have risen only 4 percent from last year at this time.
Erie County’s sales volume by price was $326,651,294 in the first quarter of 2018 compared to $298,010,150 for the same period in 2017, an increase of less than one percent.

Erie County Active Listings
March 2016 to March 2018

Niagara County Prices are Still Flat
Average sales prices in Niagara County have increased only 1.19 percent since the first quarter of 2017 even though active listings declined 18 percent over that period. New listings are also falling behind 2017 by seven percent. Year over year sales are up 4 percent and homes in the county are selling at almost the same pace as in the first quarter of 2017.
Niagara County’s sales volume by price grew from $49,515,526 in the first quarter of 2017 to $54,630,267 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 10.3 percent.

Niagara County Average Sales Prices
March 2015 to March 2018

“Homeowners in the Greater Buffalo-Niagara market who have been waiting for the right time to sell may never see a better market.  Over the past few years of the housing recovery, buyers have depleted inventories. As a result, prices are reaching new peaks. First-time and move-up buyers are motivated to buy before interest rates and prices climb even higher,” said Peter F. Hunt, Chairman & CEO of HUNT Real Estate Corp.