Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Local home sales on the rise and so are prices


Local home sales have increased and so have sale prices.

Sales of existing homes have been impacted in the Rochester area and across the country in recent years due to the lack of inventory.

Lanie Bittner, president of the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, says there was a bit of a turnaround in the first quarter of this year, with regional sales up 2.8% compared to last year.

She says the improvement in the numbers were helped by stronger home sales in some of the outlying counties in the region, like Wayne County.

“I think you’re starting to see some buyers who are maybe getting a little bit frustrated if they were originally looking in the Monroe and Ontario County and Livingston County areas may be moving a little bit further beyond that to open up their search a little bit more,” Bittner says.

Bittner also notes that with the continued lack of inventory of exiting homes, prices remain higher. For the first quarter, the median sales price of a home in this area was up more than 14% compared to last year.

Bittner notes it is pretty common to see multiple offers on the houses that are out there, with some buyers willing to pay well over the asking price.

"There’s a lot of factors that go into it, how many offers, all these other things," Bittner explained. "So it makes a big difference in terms of all that information that you gather and figure out, but certainly most houses are selling for over list and so the buyers need to strategize with the realtors as to what the best offer going forward is for the house."

Bittner says sales of lakefront properties and other second homes are also in high demand with a number of families using money that they might have used for a vacation before COVID, to invest in a down payment on a vacation home.

Overall, she remains optimistic about the spring and summer prospects for home sales. She says one factor that remains a positive for prospective home buyers is that mortgage rates continue to remain on the low side, with the National Association of Realtors predicting rates will remain below 3.5% for much or all of this year.

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.