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HOME SALES CLIMB BY 16.6% FEBRUARY SALES TOP 5-YEAR AVERAGE IN ERIE COUNTY

The local housing market continued rebounding in February, when 771 single-family homes were sold at a median sale price of $84,200.

February sales were much hotter than last year, when 661 units sold with a median sale price of $79,400.

The sales volume in Erie County also blew away the five-year average of 645 home sales for February.

"There has been a strong housing market in the rest of the country and we've really lagged behind the rest of the country . . . It looks like it's finally spreading to Western New York," said Daniel Symoniak, executive vice president of the Greater Buffalo Association of Realtors.

Mortgage interest rates remaining low and unseasonably warm weather helped the market continue gaining momentum. Realtors reported both increasing sales volume and firmer prices in the last
half of 1997, and January volume was higher than any January for the last seven years.

The upswing in business is bringing some relief to local realtors who have suffered slow markets.

"It's been very active. February and March have been terrific," said Peter Scarcello, manager of Stovroff and Potter's West Seneca office.

There were 438 three-bedroom homes sold in February with a median price of $81,250, and 217 homes with four or more bedrooms sold at a median price of $114,000. The remaining sales are attributed as two-bedroom homes and condominiums.

The market for four-bedroom-plus homes showed the largest price appreciation from last year. The median price in the four-bedroom and up category in February 1997 was $105,500.

Median price is the middle point, with half the sales occurring above that price and half the sales at a lower price.

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