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Home sales drop 8% in third quarter

Area home sales decreased 8.1 percent in the third quarter compared with a year ago, the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors Inc. reported Thursday.

A total of 3,046 home sales closed in the quarter, down from 3,316 a year ago. The median sale price was $134,000, up 3.1 percent, GRAR officials said.

Homes for sales fell 28.5 percent to 14,360 from 20,097. New listings were down 8.2 percent and pending sales were down 10.4 percent.

The continued growth in property values is being driven by the steady decline in the number of homes available for sale, officials said. 

“A variety of factors are creating the shortage in availability,” GRAR president Toni Connors said. “Low mortgage rates, in particular, offer the option to refinance instead of selling.”

Sales were up 4.1 percent in Genesee County. Sales were down in the following counties in the Rochester region:

  • 9.9 percent in Monroe County;
  • 8.3 percent in Orleans County;
  • 3.3 percent in Ontario County;
  • 1.7 percent in Livingston County; and
  • 0.7 percent in Wayne County.

The Rochester Home Builders’ Association is not providing the number of area building permits issued for the third quarter due to changes in the New York State Building Code that prompted many builders to apply for building permits prior to the code changes that took place in early October.

In most cases permits were pulled early to avoid the additional costs that builder’s clients/homeowners will incur because of those new building codes, said Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association Inc., noting the association is planning to gather final permit information for year end.

Herman said it was a strong quarter, helped by good weather, attractive interest rates and a low inventory of homes for sale, prompting homebuyers to look at new home construction.

(c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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