Jefferson, Lewis home prices dip
Slight increase in Q1 median price for St. Lawrence County
By Ted Booker, NNY Business
The median price of Jefferson County homes sold during the first quarter fell by $33,000 compared to the same period in 2015, a trend that suggests more foreclosed homes are being snapped up.
The median price fell by 22 percent from $147,000 to $114,000, and the 25 lowest-priced homes during the first quarter sold from $9,000 to $40,000, according to Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors. Those home sales were among 137 made over the period, down by 12 units, or 8 percent, from the 149 sold in the first quarter of 2015.
Mr. Evans said homes in the county that were foreclosed on by banks appear to be in high demand among investors and landlords that see value in rehabilitating them.
“We’ve had a lot more investors who are picking up properties for great bargains,” he said last month. “A lot of these houses are going to be turned around, flipped or rented. But they need to be fixed up first.”
The decline in the number of homes sold over the period comes as the market in the county continues to be impacted by the abundance of new rental housing options, Mr. Evans said. New rental complexes built over the past five years to meet demand at Fort Drum have contributed to the buyer’s market.
“You’re starting to see more specials out there for free months of rent,” he said.
Compared with the same period last year, the first-quarter median home price in Lewis County dropped by $39,500, or 34 percent, from $117,000 to $77,500, according to the Jefferson-Lewis board. The number of homes sold over the period, however, climbed by 17 units, or 74 percent, from 23 to 40.
Mr. Evans said that Lewis County, like Jefferson, also had several homes sell for under $50,000 in the first quarter, causing the median price to dip from last year.
In St. Lawrence County, however, the first-quarter median price home price increased slightly by $2,750, or 3 percent, from $79,250 to $82,000, according to the county Board of Realtors. And over the same period, the number of homes sold increased by 31 units, or 34 percent, from 90 to 121.
Debra J. Gilson, a broker for County Seat Realty in Canton who serves as president of the St. Lawrence board, said that mild winter weather helped spur more first-quarter home sales across the county.
Because it takes about eight weeks to close on home sales, she said, many deals initially made in November and December are included in first-quarter statistics. Realtors across the county enjoyed similar success during the winter by selling a lot of homes, she said.
“A typical December would be about four transactions, but I had 12 sales on the books for December alone,” she said. “I attribute a lot of that to the mild weather and also to the low interest rates that buyers know will go up.”
The Jefferson-Lewis board has 335 Realtor members and the St. Lawrence board has 184, Mr. Evans said.