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May home prices set new record in Buffalo Niagara

Prices on sold homes hit a likely new record for the region in May, amid new confidence and demand locally, coupled with a nationwide boom.

The median home price in the Buffalo Niagara region rose 12 percent to $140,000 in May, marking the highest point for that measurement since at least 1999, according to new data from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors and Buffalo News files.

The average price, meanwhile, also hit a new record for the month of May, though not an all-time record. At $159,565, it's also the highest level since last summer.

"Home prices across the U.S. are reaching all-time highs, prompting worry over another boom-and-bust scenario like we experienced roughly ten years ago," BNAR reported in its monthly sales report. "Yet as we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are much stronger than they were before."

The economy is also in much better shape than a decade ago, the trade group noted.

Closed sales in May rose 0.7 percent to 968, compared to May 2016. So far this year, completed deals are up 1.2 percent, to 4,105.

Pending sales - where a contract has been signed but it hasn't closed - rose 0.5 percent in May to 1,338 transactions. That's tied with 2015 for the highest level for the month in 16 years. But they were down 1.2 percent to 5,322 for the year to date.

New listings rose 1.4 percent to 1,892 compared to May 2016. But they're down 8.6 percent since January, to 6,862 so far this year.

As a result, the total inventory of homes for sale May compared to a year ago dropped again by 31.7 percent, to 3,027 houses on the market.

BNAR reports arms-length home sale transactions by its Realtor members in the eight-county area of Western New York, plus a handful of sales in Monroe and Livingston counties.

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