Rising Demand, Shrinking Inventory Fuel Median Price Growth

DSNews.com. May 28th, 2017

New report from the New York State Association of Realtors, or NYSAR, shows that housing trends in the Empire State are a microcosm of the U.S. market. NYSAR’s April housing market numbers show strong buyer demand and an ongoing decline in the number of homes for sale.

This dynamic was fueled a 7.8 percent increase in the April statewide median sales price (to $235,000) and an 11.2 percent drop in new listings compared to a year ago, according to the report. In real numbers, that’s a drop from just over 22,000 new listings to just above 19,600.

There were 18 percent fewer homes for sale in New York compared to last April (about 65,000 compared to about 80,000 in 2016). Inventory constraints also led to a 5 percent decline in home sales for the month compared to last year.

“As anticipated, the continued decline in the number of homes currently on the market has slowed the sales pace as many buyers are challenged to find an available home that meets their needs,” said Duncan MacKenzie, CEO of NYSAR. “Realtors are reporting that buyer demand remains strong and newly listed homes are selling quickly. Basic economics are at play with high demand and low inventory driving selling prices higher.”

In other words, New York State in April was as much a sellers market as anywhere. MacKenzie said that as the market heads into what looks to be typically busy summer months, the housing market “holds great opportunity for sellers. Without the return of sellers to the market, home sales will likely be constrained during the summer of 2017.”

Like the national market, New York’s April market had its pockets of hot and cold activity. While statewide new listings declined year-over-year by 11 percent (as did affordability), new listings dropped by more than 30 percent in Greene, Cortland, and Clinton counties. On the other hand, new listings rose in seven counties. Lewis County saw an 18.4 percent rise in new listings last month; Kings and Tompkins counties each saw a 17 percent rise.

The April sales total of 8,495 represents a decrease of 5 percent from the April 2016 total of 8,944‒‒which actually was a record.

April’s pending sales declined 4 percent from a year ago to reach 12,760. Meanwhile, the months supply of homes for sale dropped 21.6 percent at the end of April to 5.8 months supply, just shy of what is considered a normal, healthy supply. Inventory was at 7.4 months at the end of April 2016.

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