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The red-hot Buffalo Niagara housing market is getting even hotter

Local homes are selling fast – and for more – in a hot housing market.

Home prices are rising steadily – up 7 percent in June to an all-time high for any single month – because more people are looking to buy a home than there are homes for sale.

That makes the hunt for a new home harder – and the competition for houses even stiffer.

Yet even in this seller’s market, fewer homes are coming up for sale. That means buyers don’t have as many choices as they search for a house, and it often leads to bidding wars that give sellers the upper hand. The average home that sold during June went for a little more than its most recent asking price – likely the first time in decades that’s happened.

As a result, fewer homes are selling, but that decline is a sign of strength, rather than an indication of weakness.

And there is no sign that’s about to change. “Home prices are still more likely to rise than not, but sales and new listings may finish the summer on the upswing,” the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors said in its latest report.

Local home prices still are rising steadily, although the pace has slowed over the last three months. The median sale price of homes sold in June rose by 7 percent, compared with a year ago.

And in a sign of just how hot the local housing market has been, the June increase was the second smallest single-month price increase since June 2017.

That's because it’s a seller’s market – and that means homes are selling fast.

Homes in June sold after being on the market for an average of 28 days – 13 days faster than a year ago and almost four weeks faster than in 2015. Sellers in June got 100.2 percent of their most-recent asking price because of bidding wars. And the supply of homes for sale is only enough to accommodate 3.1 months of sales at the current pace.

You’d have to go back at least 20 years – and probably many more – to find a June where there were fewer homes up for sale.

The shortage of homes for sale – 3,102 were listed in June, down 9 percent from a year ago – has buyers scrambling. But it isn’t prodding homeowners into putting their homes on the market. New listings fell 6 percent last month.

Home sales plunged again during June, falling by more than 24 percent.

The tight supply of homes for sale made it harder for buyers to find a house, leading to a big drop in sales that is likely to be revised steeply downward next month as more data becomes available. Even so, the trend isn’t changing: Pending sales, which are deals that have been signed but haven’t closed, dropped 8 percent.

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