First Quarter Home Sales Stats

First Quarter statistics released by the Genesee Region Real Estate Information Services (GENRIS), the information subsidiary of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR) reveal an overall increase in sales within the regional housing market, as compared to First Quarter 2009.

Transactions for the First Quarter 2010 showed that there was a 9.3% increase over the First Quarter of 2009, with 1,802 homes sold. The overall median sale price of $113,000 reflected a 7.6% percent increase compared to last year at this time, which could be as a result of individuals taking advantage of the $6,500 Tax Credit for existing home owners. Pending sales for First Quarter 2010 reflected a 14.6% decrease compared to last year at this time. When compared to Fourth Quarter 2009, however, there was a 10.6% jump.

“This is good news for our local market,” remarked Carolyn Stiffler, board president of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®. “We should be on track for a very strong Second Quarter.”

Stiffler noted that the extension and expansion of the tax credit in December was a critical factor in maintaining the momentum of the market.

“What we saw was an influx of first-time home buyers and existing homeowners taking advantage of the tax incentive,” continued Stiffler. “It truly was a “shot in the arm” for the real estate industry and the economy. For many individuals, it was the answer to their dream of homeownership.”

GRAR officials remarked that the 41.5% decrease between First Quarter 2010 and Fourth Quarter 2009 was a result of people wanting to take advantage of the initial tax credit before it expired in November of 2009. When the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit took effect in early 2009, there was a lot of activity among first-time buyers, especially during the fourth quarter. People thought that they only had until November 30 to take advantage of credit, which is why we saw a large drop in homes sales between First Quarter 2010 compared to Fourth Quarter 2009.

In December 2009, new federal legislation not only extended the $8,000 Tax Credit for First-time Home Buyers but also included a $6,500 tax credit for eligible existing homeowners for the purchase of another principal residence. Both must have a written binding contract to purchase by April 30, 2010, which is when the tax credit expires. The purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.

There were strong sales gains in several towns within Monroe County over First Quarter 2009. The most significant increases occurred in Parma at 86.7%, Brighton at 68.8%, Penfield at 37.8%, and Greece at 21.3%. Median sales prices also increased significantly in each of these areas, especially in Brighton, which could be a result of existing homes owners moving up.

GRAR will continue to support the local residential real estate industry through its TIME2BUY marketing campaign, which focuses on the benefits of owning a home and using the services of a REALTOR® when buying and selling a home.

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