Locally, sellers quicker to spring market than buyers

ALBANY —  Home sales prices continued to rise in New York State in May, while the inventory of homes for sale also inched upwards for the sixth consecutive month, according to the housing market report released by the New York State Association of REALTORS.

There also continues to be good financial news for home buyers. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate dropped for the sixth straight month to 4.07 percent in May, the lowest rate since January 2018.

There were 69,118 homes for sale in the month of May – the most in New York State since October 2018.

The median sales price continues to escalate, jumping 6.0 percent to $273,200 compared to the same time last year. This marks 41 consecutive months that the median sales price is up in a year-over-year comparison. Additionally, the number of days a house was on the market decreased from 79 in May 2018 to 75.

The month’s supply of homes for sale was up 1.6 percent compared to May 2018 to a 6.2 month’s supply. A 6-month to 6.5-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.

"At this point in the year, we are getting a good sense for how the housing market is likely to perform for the foreseeable future. Markets across the country are regulating toward a middle ground between buyers and sellers. While it remains true that sales prices are running higher and that inventory options are relatively low, buyers are beginning to find wiggle room at some price point," the May reports reasoned.

In our region, the real estate market seemingly marched to its own drum, as closed sales were lower this May than last in all three counties, but sellers optimistically came to market anyways.

Locally, home sales trended down dramatically for Allegany County, tallying 24 percent fewer closed sales than last May. Fewer sales were made possible in part by fewer new listings hitting the market in May 2019, falling from 74 in 2018 to just 58 last month. However, the homes that did sell, fetched a higher median sales price, rising from $70,000 in May 2018 to $75,000 in May 2019. Despite a lag in sales from the previous year, the overall number of homes for sale fell 4.1 percent, leaving a monthly supply of 6.8 months, slightly lower than last May (7.1).

In Steuben County, sellers were slightly more optimistic, with new listings topping May 2018 levels by five homes, rising to 165. Sales however, slowed from last May, falling a dramatic 29.5 percent, from 88 to just 62. As a result, median sales prices dipped slightly, falling from $123,500 to $121,250. With more new listings and fewer closed sales, the number of homes for sale dropped 13.7 percent, from 439 to 379 available homes. The months supply neared a long-time low at just 4.9 percent.

In Livingston County, a glut of new listings hit the market as home-sellers gear up for the spring and summer seasons. Over this time last year, there are 27.3 percent more new listings up for grabs. Closed sales however, did not keep pace with the number of new listings, falling 11.3 percent to 47 in the month of May. As the number of choices for buyers increases, sales may be in for an adjustment. In May, median sales prices fell 8.8 percent, shedding $11,000 in value to $114,000. The total number of homes on the market in Livingston County is up, from 150 to 158, and the monthly supply swelled to a meager 3.3.

To view the full monthly New York State Association of REALTORS analysis of the state's markets, visit: https://www.nysar.com.