ALBANY — With sales recovering from a multi-year slump, and the inventory of homes for sale declining by double-digit percentages, housing prices are on the rise in the Capital Region.
The latest report, for the month of August, said that sales of single-family homes in the 11-county area that includes the Capital Region surged 13 percent from the year-earlier level, the Greater Capital Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Prices also rose, with the median sale price, at which half the houses cost more and half cost less, up 4 percent to $202,800.
Inventory — the supply of homes on the market — fell nearly 13 percent. At current sales rates, the inventory would be depleted in just over 12 months, compared to 16 months a year earlier.
And the average number of days a house is on the market fell to 86 from 94 a year ago.
Data from the Capital Region Multiple Listing Service showed that pending sales also were up 13 percent, with new listings rising 9 percent from the year-earlier level. So far this year closed sales are running 14 percent ahead of 2010, with pending sales up 22 percent. The median sale price is up 3 percent to $190,000.
And sellers are getting a larger share of their original listing price, 93.2 percent in August compared to 92.5 percent a year earlier. That's still well below the 98 percent figure that sellers were realizing in early 2005.
"Our numbers for the first eight months of 2012 bear out the overall improvement in the market," said James Ader, the association's CEO. "We feel we can say that the housing market has turned the corner after several poor performance years."
The median sale price for the year so far is the highest at this point since 2008, according to association figures.
Of the four local counties, Schenectady County showed the strongest sales gain for August, with the number of closed sales up 45 percent, followed by Saratoga County, with a 12 percent increase, Rensselaer County with a rise of 7 percent, and Albany County, where sales were up 6 percent.
Median prices were up 5 percent to $210,000 in Albany County, 2 percent to $260,000 in Saratoga County, less than 1 percent to $172,300 in Rensselaer County, and down 2 percent to $187,000 in Schenectady County.
The gain in housing sales typically leads to additional sales of everything from furniture and carpeting to appliances, paint and landscaping services, boosting consumer spending.
It may also signal growing confidence in individual purchasers' economic outlook, as they undertake a long-term debt commitment.
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