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A Harsh Winter Helps Dampen Home Sales

New numbers out from local realtors and home builders show that the bitterly cold winter probably had an impact on home buying in the first quarter.

The Greater Rochester Association of Realtors says that overall in this area, home sales declined 8.3 percent compared to last year at this time.  The president of the association, Andy Burke, says that the nasty winter may have deterred some people from either getting their home ready to sell or going out looking for a house. He says another reason for home sales decline is a lack of inventory.

Burke says that's partly due to the rough winter but it may also be due to some people feeling a bit uncertain about their own finances, and being hesitant to put their homes up for sale.

He says this is a seller's market, and some homes are seeing multiple offers.

"It's always the same caveat, a house that is well prepared for the market, that is priced fairly compared to the competition will inevitably see in this market a very quick sale time and potentially multiple offers, not always a guarantee,"  Burke told WXXI News.

Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association says new home sales were down slightly, mostly because of the weather.

"We do see the pent-up demand, we had two builders indicating that activity just in the last three weeks has picked up in their model homes considerably and a lot of that is just the fact that people did not go out during the harsh weather.”

Herman says the home builders are looking for a very active second quarter.

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.