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Buffalo Niagara home sales fall in February

Western New York home sales in February fell to their lowest level for any month in the past two years, despite a record-high winter pipeline.

But prices held firmly at or near their peaks, according to newly released data.

Closed deals dropped 3.8 percent compared to February 2016, falling to 685 from 712, according to the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.

The tally of closings hasn't been that low in any month of the year since February 2015, when 514 transactions were completed. But it was still the second-highest level for the month of February in the past dozen years. February is typically the slowest month of the year for home sales.

While closings declined, pending sales rose 4.3 percent to 872 – the highest on record for February since at least 2000. Pending sales means a contract has been signed but it's not completed yet. Those transactions are expected to wind through the closing process in the next month or two.

Buyers are also paying up for homes. The median home price – half sold for more, half for less – rose 1.1 percent to $120,000. That's down from $127,500 in January, but it's the highest on record for February in the last 19 years.

The average price – which is more easily skewed by extreme cases – fell 1.5 percent to $139,013. But that's still the third-highest for February since at least 2000.

New listings fell 9.1 percent to 1,070, consistent with the five-year average for February. With demand remaining strong, the overall supply continued to plummet in February, falling 30.6 percent from February 2016.

As of the end of the month, the inventory stood at 2,951 homes available for sale.

BNAR reports arm's-length transactions between its member Realtors in the eight-county Western New York area, plus a handful of sales in Monroe and Livingston counties.

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