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Region's home sales decline in fourth quarter

Rochester Business Journal
January 17, 2014

Area home sales were down 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors Inc. reported Friday. The median sale price was unchanged at $125,000.
Home sales totaled 2,583 in the fourth quarter, down from 2,682 a year ago, reports Genesee Regional Real Estate Information Services Inc., the information subsidiary of GRAR.

New home listings in the region were down 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter to 3,433, compared with a year ago, and pending sales dropped 5.6 percent to 1,950. The number of homes for sale fell 10 percent to 4,406.

The city of Rochester saw 280 closings up 7.3 percent. The median sales price in the city rose 7.9 percent to $74,900.

The biggest riser was Clarkson, where closings jumped 55.6 percent. East Rochester sales were up 50 percent. Rush saw sales drop 54.5 percent and Canandaigua, Ontario County, was down 32.4 percent from the previous year.

Sales were down in the fourth quarter as follows:
•    0.6 percent in Monroe County;
•    38.5 percent in Genesee County;
•    12.6 percent in Livingston County;
•    10 percent in Ontario County; and
•    18.5 percent in Wayne County.

Orleans County saw sales increase 14.5 percent in the quarter.

“The last three months of the year typically ushers in the real estate off-season in our market,” said Andy Burke, GRAR president, in a statement. “That, coupled with the aftermath of the government shutdown in October and early periods of severe winter, helps to explain the lackluster end of the year.”

The Greater Rochester Multiple Listing Service reported a 4.7 increase in the number of homes, condos and townhouses sold with 11,267 units in 2013 compared with 10,765 in 2012. The median sales price rose 1.8 percent to $127,200.

Sales across the Rochester region were as follows for 2013:
•    Monroe County, up 6.6 percent;
•    Genesee County, up 9.7 percent;
•    Livingston County, down 7 percent;
•    Ontario County, up 1.1 percent;
•    Orleans County, up 4.4 percent; and
•    Wayne County, down 3.3 percent.

The Rochester Home Builders’ Association also released its year-end building permit report.

New home building permits for 2013 in Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties combined declined 5 percent to 1,115 permits issued.

Monroe County led the area with 763 single and multifamily building permits issued, down from 1,038 a year ago. The towns of Gates, Greece and Penfield issued the most permits.
Ontario County saw a 37 percent growth with 348 permits, up from 254 permits a year ago. Farmington with 157 permits and Victor with 87 permits saw the most activity.

Wayne County was down 19 percent, with 56 permits filed, compared with 69 a year ago.

Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders’ Association, said the organization is seeing more remodelers involved in the association, as well as more builders getting involved with remodeling.

"Our association has diversified over the last five years and we have become a home builders and remodelers conduit for the members and the community,” Herman said in a statement.

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

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