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Area home sales fall 7.6% in Q2; inventory remains tight

Rochester Business Journal
July 17, 2014

Area home sales dropped 7.6 percent in the second quarter compared with a year ago, the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors Inc. reported Thursday.

A total of 2,844 home sales closed in the quarter, down from 3,079 a year ago, reports Genesee Regional Real Estate Information Services Inc., the information subsidiary of GRAR.

 The median sale price reached $130,000, up 1.1 percent, GRAR officials said. Inventory remains tight, with 5 percent fewer homes on the market than a year ago. There were 5,816 single-family units available in the second quarter compared with 6,122 a year ago.

New listings were down 1.1 percent and pending sales fell 5.8 percent from a year ago.

Andy Burke, GRAR president, pointed out pending sales had jumped by 34.1 percent compared with the first quarter.

“The tremendous increase in pending sales during the second quarter shows that our housing market is picking up pace as we enter the typically active summer season,” Burke said in a statement.
“We expect the growth in the median sales price to bring more sellers to the market, which will provide additional options for today’s buyers.”
Sales climbed 11 percent in Livingston County in the quarter, but were down in the
other counties in the Rochester region:
•    8.8 percent in Monroe County;
•    38.8 percent in Genesee County;
•    1.1 percent in Ontario County;
•    10.4 percent in Orleans County; and
•    4 percent in Wayne County.

The city of Rochester saw 336 closings during the quarter, down .3 percent. The median sales price in the city fell 1.5 percent to $80,000.

Monroe County posted a modest increase in median sales price, rising .4 percent to $132,500.

“Buyer interest, especially in more rural areas, is gaining momentum,” said Jim Yockel, GRAR CEO. “Year-over-year sales were up 18.2 percent in Victor, 25 percent in Macedon and over 23 percent in Hamlin.”

The Rochester Home Builders’ Association released its building permit report for the first half of 2014 on Thursday. The results were flat overall, officials said, but considering the contributing factors the association was pleased. Frigid temperatures of the first quarter and a rainy spring hurt building starts.
The association reported 408 new home building permits in Monroe County, up 29 percent from 317 for the same quarter in 2013. A total of 121permits were issued in Ontario County, down 43 percent from 212. Wayne County saw 23 permits, down 8 percent from 25 a year ago.

"I see the market picking up little by little these last few years. Our members were hoping that 2014 would bring us back to a more normal building cycle, however the weather hurt us during the first quarter," said Joseph Sortino of Sortino Properties Inc. and RHBA chairman.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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