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Slim pickings for prospective home buyers

Second-quarter home buying statistics show home buyers are still motivated to purchase a home, but there isn't much of an inventory to choose from.

The Greater Rochester Association of Realtors released statistics Thursday.

President Linda Wilson says sales fell 12 percent in the quarter, and the market is down over 37 percent because of the low inventories.

"This quarter we've only had 1,597 houses that are available for sale.  The good part is the sales price has increased by 4.1 percent," she said.

Credit Alex Crichton
(l to r) Jim Yockel, Linda Wilson and Rick Herman

That translates to a median house price of $138,500.

Association CEO John Yockel says the number of homes for sale are at historically low levels.

"That creates lots of competition for the homes that are listed, which is an inhibitor to people actually getting in a home," he said.

Yockel adds the low inventory may preclude someone from putting their home up for sale because they're worried they won't be able to find a new home.

In the home building industry, there's a bit of a Catch-22, according to Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association.

"Low inventory, which is always good for new construction, but then the weather, and somewhat of a labor shortage," he said.

Herman adds solid local employment and the low inventory have once again brought people to look at new home construction as an option, rather than buying an existing home.