A lack of entry-level homes for sale in the region has hurt the real estate market in recent years, and agents continue to seek out homes under $200,000 that are in demand by buyers.
Overall, the regional housing market remains strong, with the number of closed sales dropping slightly last year, but the median sale price rising 7.5 percent, according to Southern Adirondack Multiple Listing Service Inc.
The median sales price for 2018 was $180,000 in the listing service’s region, which includes Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties. To the south, the Capital District also saw a sizable increase, as the median price rose 10 percent to $217,000, according to the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.
Kim Bullard, president of Southern Adirondack Realtors Inc., which represents over 500 real estate agents in the region, said fall’s regional real estate activity was “exceptionally high,” which was a good sign heading into 2019.
The statistics for 2018 showed it continued to be a seller’s market in the region, as prices rose and inventory dropped.
The average number of days a home is on the market before selling dropped again in 2018 to 98, a decline of over 20 percent from 2016. The percent of listing price that a seller received rose to 96.4 percent.
There continues to be a lack of housing inventory in the region, an issue that was seen last year as well. The biggest hole in the local market is the inventory of homes valued between $100,000 and $200,000, Bullard explained.
“Anything under $200,000 we are grasping for,” she said.
Southern Adirondack Realtors’ annual report showed the region had nearly 2,500 homes for sale in the summer of 2010, compared to 1,500 last summer.
A slight increase in interest rates for mortgages has not seemed to deter buyers, Bullard added. January’s cold, snowy weather seems to have slowed the winter market a bit, though.
Bullard said there also seems to be a trend among buyers who are investing in real estate during the period of stock market uncertainty.
Home builders in the Capital District were being “cautious” at the end of 2018, with new single-family home starts down 11 percent in November, according to the Greater Capital District Association of Realtors. But signs remain positive overall for the home market in southern Saratoga, Albany and Rensselaer counties as well, according to the association.
“Overall, 2018 was a good year for real estate throughout our area,” Susan Sommers, president of Greater Capital Association of Realtors, said in an email. “As we take into consideration the movement in interest rates and low unemployment rate, we expect a positive atmosphere for buyers and sellers in 2019.”