Homes sales in region drop 4% in Q2

By ANDREA DECKERT - 7/19/2013 4:29:30 PM

Area home sales were down 4 percent in the second quarter compared with a year ago, the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors Inc. reported Friday. But the median sale price rose 4 percent to $129,000 from $124,000.
Home sales totaled 2,906 in the second quarter, down from 3,029 a year ago. Sales were up 35 percent from the first quarter total of 1,849, reports Genesee Regional Real Estate Information Services Inc., the information subsidiary of GRAR.

New home listings in the region increased 10 percent in the second quarter to 6,610, compared with a year ago, and pending sales rose 4.7 percent to 3,580.

There were 5,771 homes on the market, down 11.5 percent from 6,523 in the second quarter last year.

Rural areas in Monroe County fared well, with quarterly closings rising 183.3 percent in Riga-Churchville; 60 percent in Rush; 40 percent in Wheatland-Mumford-Scottsville; and 37 percent in Sweden-Brockport.

“The rise in mortgage interest rates seems to be pushing buyers who are dragging their feet into the market wanting to take advantage of current rates while they are still relatively low,” said Steve Babbitt, president of the GRAR board of directors, in a statement. “This, along with the drop in the number of available properties compared to this time last year is causing home values to climb at a record pace.”

New home building permits in Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties combined grew 11 percent in the first half—driven by strong growth in Ontario County, the Rochester Home Builders’ Association reported.

Monroe County led the area with 333 single and multifamily building permits issued, with the towns of Henrietta, Penfield and Greece issuing the most permits. Permits were 341 a year ago.

Ontario County saw growth—up 116 percent—as it reported 212 permits, with Farmington and Victor being the most active towns. Last year at this time, 98 permits had been filed in Ontario County.

Wayne County was down 7 percent, with 25 permits filed, compared with 27 at this time last year.

“Builders remain confident and we are seeing more and more traffic in their model and spec homes,” said Charlie Graves, president of Graves Bros. Home Improvement and 2013 RHBA chairman. “Everyone in the home building and remodeling business is busy and starting to experience a comeback compared to the last few years.”

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