ALBANY — The New York State housing market posted a solid first half of the year with 60,043 closed sales, falling only 3.8 percent behind the 2017 record sales pace, according to the housing market report released this week by the New York State Association of REALTORS.

The statewide median sales price continued to grow through the first six months of 2018, climbing 8.9 percent from the first half of 2017 to reach $262,500.

“The story line at the midpoint of this year is sellers doing well in a tight inventory market that also has eager buyers ready to close,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of the New York State Association of REALTORS. “With the ongoing growth in selling prices it is a great time for wavering sellers to come off the sidelines. If we see an uptick in seller activity and any meaningful growth in new residential construction, the housing market could make a run at last year’s sales record.”

Second quarter 2018 sales declined by 5.5 percent compared to the 2017 second quarter to finish at 31,952. The June 2018 closed sales total of 12,234 represents a 10 percent decline from June 2017.

Through the first six months of the year, the statewide median sales price increased 8.9 percent compared to the same period in 2017 to reach $262,500. The second quarter 2018 median sales price of $266,500 represents an 11-percent increase from the second quarter 2017 median of $240,100. The June 2018 median price of $280,000 was a 9.8-percent increase compared to June 2017.

Pending sales decreased 2 percent to 68,974 through the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Second quarter 2018 pending sales (39,894) were 1.5-percent below the 2017 second quarter. June 2018 pending sales (13,421) were down 3.5 percent compared to June 2017.

Inventory stood at 70,038, a decrease of 5.3 percent compared to the 2017 second quarter.

Locally, the June reports were marked by peaks and valleys that painted a mixed picture of the market. Generally, there were more new listings in the region in June, but they did not make up for the deficit in homes for sale needed to make a dent in demand that continues to drive prices higher.

In Allegany County, new listings rose by 25.4 percent, and closed sales outperformed 2017 levels, increasing by 45.7 percent. Despite more new listings, fewer houses remained on the market, as supply dropped by 163, or 21.1 percent, which kept home prices on the rise. The average home sold in Allegany County in June went for $75,000, $11,425 more than in last June.

In Steuben County, new listings rose 10.7 percent, but closed sales lagged behind 2017 levels by 19 percent. Despite more new listings, the numbers of homes for sale fell by 67 properties or 13.5 percent from June 2017. Waning supply in the face of steady demand also resulted in higher home prices for Steuben County, where prices rose $22,244 to $125,266 over June 2017.

In the tri-county area, Livingston County was the aberration, with fewer new listings and closed sales staying level versus June 2017. However, it did not buck the trend of fewer homes on the market, losing a stock of 38 homes (falling 18.4 percent) and higher sale prices, which rose $18,500 or 15.2 percent to $140,000.

The statistics contributed to second quarter trends that were largely the same, reflecting demand outpacing supply as the supply of homes on the market continued to fall across the region and closed sales remained steady.

In Allegany, Steuben and Livingston Counties, homes for sale dropped 2, 13.5 and 18.4 percent over Q2 2017 respectively, and sale prices increased steadily in Allegany County, 24 percent; 7 percent in Steuben County; and fell slightly in Livingston County by 2.9 percent.

Nationwide, a highly active market resulting in quick sales and sales above asking prices is expected continue through the summer and early fall, and may be influenced by recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. However, the market picture is said to be "encouraging in an already healthy marketplace," according to NY Association of REALTORS experts.

For a full review of housing statistics for New York State and its counties, visit the New York State Association of REALTORS website www.nysar.com/industry-resouces