Local housing market thrives, mirroring state, national trends

  • A real estate sign is seen in front of Stefani and Scott Monuteaux's home who have put their house on the market during the holidays on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 in East Greenbush, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union) Photo: Lori Van Buren / 20039097A

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ALBANY

The Capital Region housing market continues to thrive and has largely recovered from the 2008 recession, mirroring both state and national trends.

“Homes are selling in fewer days and for higher prices,” said Marie Bettini, president of the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS.

New listings in the Capital Region increased by 9 percent in the third quarter, to 1,115, and the average time for a home to stay on the market has dropped to 71 days, indicating high buyer demand, according to a Tuesday report from GCAR.


The median home sale price also grew by  3 percent, to $199,713, while the average price of Capital Region homes grew by 1 percent, to $225,713. Albany County home prices have dropped in the last three years, from $242,000 in 2014 to $237,300 in the first 11 months of 2016; and Rensselaer County averages fell from $182,000 to $180,000 over the same period. Saratoga County prices fell to $297,600, down $4,000 since last year but still much higher than the $292,200 average in 2014. 

“Buyer demand is holding up, impressively, which may be due to job gains and continued low mortgage rates,” GCAR CEO Laura Burns said. Local unemployment fell to 3.9 percent in November and hit a 9-year low in May.

The news comes amid a flurry of positive housing surveys in New York and nationally, with late-year trends indicating a market that has mostly recovered from recession. Statewide home sales hit record totals in November, pushing New York’s annual home sales total to 118,000 for the year — well past the 116,000 sold in 2015, according to the New York State Association of REALTORS.

“With mortgage rate upticks likely on the horizon, we believe that consumers were highly motivated to complete their purchase to take advantage of still low rates,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, NYSAR CEO.  “Looking ahead to 2017, continued strength in the overall economy gives a reason for optimism, but we do have concerns that sales growth could be tempered because of increasing mortgage rates and low for-sale housing inventory.”

“The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. 

RDownen@timesunion.com – 518-454-5018 –