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Home prices hit record high in hot Buffalo Niagara housing market

It was a record-setting month for the scorching hot Buffalo Niagara housing market in July.

Home prices continued their surge upward — rising by nearly 11 percent to an all-time high – as potential buyers continue to outnumber the supply of homes for sale. That makes it harder for buyers to find a home they like – and when they do find one, home shoppers often face stiff competition.

Even in this sellers’ market, few homes are coming up for sale. But that could be changing. New listings during July rose by 13 percent – the first monthly increase since last October. Time will tell whether that’s a one-month blip or the start of a trend toward more inventory.

Still, homes continue to sell quickly, with the average home staying on the market for just 30 days before it sells. And sellers still have a lot of pricing power. The average home that sold during July went for its full asking price at the time.

“With a growing economy, solid lending practices and the potential for improved inventory from new listing and building activity, market balance is more likely than a bubble,” the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors said.

Local home prices have reached a record high for two straight months.

The median sale price of homes sold in July rose 10.5 percent to a record high of $165,000. And in a sign of just how hot the local housing market has been, it was the first time the monthly median sale price has topped $160,000.

Home sales dropped again during July, falling by more than 12 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 drop is likely to be revised downward next month as more data becomes available. Yet the trend could be changing: Pending sales – deals that have been signed but haven’t closed – rose 10 percent in July.

You’d have to go back more than 20 years to find a July where there were fewer homes up for sale.

The shortage of homes for sale – 3,375 were listed in July, down 5 percent from a year ago – has buyers scrambling. The strong market may finally be prodding homeowners into putting their homes on the market. New listings jumped 13 percent last month.

That makes it a sellers’ market, and that means homes are selling fast.

Homes in July sold after being on the market for an average of 30 days – two days faster than a year ago but 18 days faster than in 2016. Sellers in July got 100 percent of their most-recent asking price. The supply of homes for sale is only enough to accommodate 3.3 months of sales at the current pace.

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