County Housing Market Jumps In 2012

A rise in confidence is one way to explain why there are more houses for sale in Chautauqua County.

According to the New York State Association of Realtors, 1,170 houses were for sale in the county at the end of 2012. That was a 46.6 percent increase when compared to 2011. The increase represents the largest of any county in the state. Delaware County at a 27.2 percent rise followed Chautauqua County.

Jan Murray, Chautauqua County Board of Realtors executive officer, said the increase in the number of houses for sale shows that people in the county are confident the house will get bought.

“People are getting more confidence that they will get a buyer,” she said. “I think some people hold off when the economy is looking bleak. I think now people are more confident in getting a sale.”

Murray said the increase in the number of homes for sale shows people also have confidence they will receive a good price.

“I do know if people don’t think their house will bring what they want they will hold off unless they have to sell,” she said.

The 847 houses closed in 2011, represents a 5.6 percent decrease when compared to 2011. Also, the number of homes closed in the fourth-quarter of 2012 also saw a similar decrease of 5.5 percent. A total of 241 houses were closed in the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of 14 when compared to the last quarter of 2011.

Murray said even though closings were down, pending housing sales were up at the end of the year.

“The pending sales were up 2 percent. I guess it took longer to close for some,” she said.

The median price of a house sold in Chautauqua County only increases slightly in 2012, rising 3.3 percent. However, since 2008, the average price of a purchased house has increased 121.5 percent. The median was $39,055 in 2008 and was $86,500 at the end of 2012.

“I have a feeling a lot of high-priced vacation homes were sold to bring that number up,” Murray said.

The overall state housing market finished 2012 with a 7 percent increase. There was a slight 1.2 percent growth in the median sales price.

“Looking at the year-end numbers we can confidently call the housing market in full recovery mode,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, state Association of Realtors chief executive officer. “The 2012 market featured four consecutive quarters of sales growth and inventory moved continually closer to a balanced market.”

There were 93,582 closed sales in 2012 in the state, up from the 87,459 homes sold in 2011. The 23,694 closed sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 represented a 6.1 percent increase from the 2011 fourth quarter.