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Local home sales affected by changes due to the coronavirus pandemic

The latest quarterly survey from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors shows a sharp drop in local home sales, a downturn that the association expected as the effects of the coronavirus were felt starting in March.

Sales of existing homes for the entire region fell about 21% compared to a year ago. In Monroe County, sales were down 9.6%.  However the median sale price of home in the region was up around 8% compared to a year ago.

Andy Kachaylo is president of the Realtors Association. He said there is still a lot of pent up demand by homebuyers, and since the New York ‘Pause’ regulations don’t allow open houses, he says many prospective buyers are going online to look at available houses.

“So a buyer can just click and join. We had ten people on a virtual open house on Sunday; not one person got in and we’ve got three offers in hand over asking (price), and nobody saw the house,” Kachaylo said.

Kachaylo said that even with the restrictions on visiting homes for sale, home inspections are still allowed. He also feels that sales will pick up sharply later in the year when some restrictions about visiting homes on the market are eased.

But he does expect that procedures for holding an open house will change.

“I can imagine, I’m envisioning, down the sidewalk there will be six-foot dots on the sidewalk and it’s going to be, ‘wait here, wait here, wait here.’ Four people in, four people out, and those are the types of things I can envision happening in the future,” Kachaylo said.

The latest Realtors Association survey also showed the number of homes for sale were down 11.6% for the most recent quarter compared to a year ago.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.