Click the play button above to learn why buyer demand remains high despite limited homes available for sale.
Audio transcript:newscast 5 script
By Anthony Khelil SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)– Home sales in New York State dropped 6.2 percent this February. New York State realtors closed 7,328 sales, almost 500 fewer than the 7,800 sales made in February of 2017.
The unemployment rate in Central New York has risen in comparison to this time last year. Employment rates and the housing market typically go hand in hand.
The Director of Communications for the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR), Salvatore Prividera, does not believe the rise in unemployment directly correlates to the decrease in home sales.
“Employment and home sales are intertwined as you look at the housing market,” Prividera said. “But in this case, I think there’s a softening of home sales because of the situation where there are fewer homes available for purchase.”
There is a steady decline of homes listed in New York State. 57,082 homes are currently listed for sale, down 9.5 percent from February of 2017.
The NYSAR reports that despite the decrease in total home sales compared to last year, this past February saw the third highest sales total since the NYSAR began tracking sales.
However, current homeowners who may be interested in upgrading to a new home or even downsizing are approaching moving out of their current homes with caution.
“People are still interested in buying homes; the problem is there are fewer to select from,” Prividera said.
Prividera said that since buyer activity has been so high within the last few years, realtors have exhausted the inventory of available homes.
The strong home buyer activity led to realtors selling 134,066 in 2017, setting a New York State home sales record. Even with limited homes available for purchase, the housing market remains strong.
“They’re still selling. Buyer demand is still strong. Interest rates, if you look at them by historical standards, they are still low,” Prividera said.