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July Home Sales, Prices, and Pending Sales Rose in Capital Region

Continuing the positive 2012 trend, for the sixth month in a row sales of capital region homes, home prices, and pending sales of homes all rose in July as compared to the same month last year. This positive growth has been the consistent story since the beginning of 2012.

Sellers are now getting 93.4% of their list price, up 0.3% from last year. According to the Albany Times Union, the Albany, Saratoga, and Schenectady housing markets all had increases in home prices and home sales:

Sales were up 7 percent in Albany County, 6 percent in Schenectady County, and 4 percent in Saratoga County.

The average price rose 1 percent to $247,805 in Albany county, 2 percent to $287,266 in Saratoga County, and 12 percent to $202,539 in Schenectady County.

The median price was up 5 percent in Albany County to $219,900; 5 percent in Saratoga County to $265,000l; and 3 percent in Schenectady County to $179,000.

Even more encouraging, on the same day the Capital Region housing statistics revealed local market growth, the national real estate market also had very encouraging numbers with a rise in home prices across the country. As the Wall Street Journal noted:

Sales of previously owned homes notched another rise in July, and prices showed annual gains for the fifth consecutive month, the latest evidence that Americans are starting to wade back into the housing market.

As we continue into September, the numbers may slow down, prices are dropping as sellers anticipate the market slow down. Buyers are leaving the market as children get back to school and summer vacations end. But inventory is also shrinking, reducing the supply of homes and thus assisting in the rise in home prices. The supply of homes fell 12.8% to 8,532 active home listings, the lowest level since July 2009 (8,516 active home listings). Remember, lower supply, increases the absorption rate of homes and tilts the scales back towards a balanced market. A 6.0 month absorption rate in considered a balanced market – it would take 6 months to absorb the supply of homes at the current sales rate. In July the City of Albany home absorption rate was 10.7 months, versus 7.1 months in Colonie, 9.6 months in Guilderland, and 7.2 months in Bethlehem.

One clear indicator of the housing market to come is pending sales. Pending sales jumped by 13% in July 2012  with a total of 812 contracts for the sale of homes during the month. As compared to the same month last year, July’s pending sales increase was less than the 22% rise in March, 16% rise in April, but more than the 11% increase in May. By the time we hit September, the natural rhythm of the market falls as if in proportion to the temperatures. In addition to the positive home price numbers, the single most encouraging statistic from July’s report is the 13% increase in pending sale. As I’ve said before, pending sales is the best leading indicator to predicate activity in the coming month.

If you have questions or are interested in searching for homes in Albany or Saratoga, just call. Monticello stands ready to assist you in selling or buying your next home.