ALBANY — A new report by the New York State Association of Realtors indicates that the housing market may be in for a slow down.
"Despite a strong U.S. economy, historically low unemployment and steady wage growth, home sales began to slow across the nation late last year. Blame was given to a combination of high prices and a steady stream of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. This month, the Fed responded to the growing affordability conundrum. In a move described as a patient approach to further rate changes, the Fed did not increase rates during January 2019," a characterization from the New York State Association of REALTORS stated.
Statewide in January, new Listings were up 8.2 percent to 14,618. Pending Sales increased 3.9 percent to 8,508. Inventory grew 1.1 percent to 60,501 units.
Prices moved higher as the Median Sales Price was up 5.8 percent to $278,000. Days on Market decreased 4.9 percent to 78 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 1.9 percent to 5.4 months.
Locally, however, closed sales were marginally higher in Steuben County over the previous January, with 62 homes sold. More new listings on the market also indicated continued local confidence that was backed by higher median sale prices in January, rising 6.3 percent to $106,000.
Housing stock continued to remain near record lows of just 4.7 months of supply, a change of -16.1 percent since January 2018.
In Allegany County, a boom of new listings, rising from 25 last January to 39, a 58 percent increase. The number of closed sales however declined 31 percent. The added properties and falling sales resulted in more homes being up for sale (195). The median sales price for home sales closing in January fell dramatically, from $72,000 to $58,000.
Similar to Allegany County, in Livingston County a glut of new listings and fewer closed sales saw the overall number of home sales rise between January 2018 and January 2019, conversely however, Median sales prices rose 8.4 percent, from $129,000 to $134,900.
While local statistics have yet to reflect an across the board slowdown, the Association of REALTORS says that there are some concerns regarding affordability.
"While the home affordability topic will continue to set the tone for the 2019 housing market, early signs point to an improving inventory situation, including in several markets that are beginning to show regular year-over-year percentage increases. As motivated sellers attempt to get a jump on annual goals, many new listings enter the market immediately after the turn of a calendar year. If home price appreciation falls more in line with wage growth, and rates can hold firm, consumer confidence and affordability are likely to improve," the statement concluded.