WXXI AM News

Home sales dip slightly in 2018 in the Rochester area

Jan 24, 2019

The Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, Rochester Home Builders Association and Mortgage Bankers Association presented their annual housing market statistics and state of the local economy at a meeting on Thursday.

Immediate past president for the Realtors group, Linda Wilson, says there was high demand last year, but once again, there were fewer homes on the market.

``2018 the market has dipped 2.9 percent from last year, however we're still higher than we were in 2014 and 2015.  Our median sales price is $140,000," she said.

Wilson says that median price is a 7.7  percent increase over a year ago, and the fastest-selling homes fall in the price range of $100,000 to $199,000.

Homes priced at $450,000 or more saw the largest price increase year-over-year at 19.2 percent.

Rick Herman (r) CEO of the Rochester Homebuilders Association, and president of Sortino Properties, Joe Sortino

CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association, Rick Herman, said 2018 was another strong year for local homebuilders, but they need some help.

``We are missing a lot of the trades.  Plumbers, masons, framers, those are the people we need in our industry to keep up with the demand," he said.

Regional economist for M&T Bank, Gary Keith, was one of the guest speakers.

He says there is plenty of optimism ahead, despite a lot of concerns for 2019.

But the combination of higher incomes and low unemployment should make for a good year for the housing market in 2019.

``The last several years of recovery have moved that income needle higher.  Unemployment is at a 17-year low, suggesting that's a solid labor market going into the year," he said.

Herman adds that both Keith and the other guest speaker at the annual luncheon, Danielle Hale with Realtor.com, feel that 2019 might be a bit sluggish, but it's nothing to overly concerned about.