Property Mixed For First Six Months of 2019

Lance Evans

The first six months of 2019 have seen mixed results in terms of real estate sales in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Overall, 2019 single family home sales are up slightly in the tri-county area, while days on the market (the time from when the listing contract is signed until the purchase offer is signed) declined when compared to January to June 2018. Depending on the location the median price for a home either stayed relatively flat or rose. It should be noted that the “median price” is the middle point for real estate prices. It is not the same as the average price. The median price is the price in the very middle of a data set, with exactly half of the houses priced for less and half priced for more. 

    Sales of other types of property (commercial, land, and multi-family) in the tri-county area declined year over year. Again depending on the county, the price and the days on the market varied. 

    Looking at Jefferson County, sales of all property and single-family homes rose slightly with an increase of 1 to 2 percent over the previous year with 582 properties selling of which 489 were single-family. The change in year to year days on the market was flat with the number for all property up a day to 127 and down a day for single-family home sales to 107. The biggest change was median price which rose 5.4 percent to $128,000 for all property types and 8 percent to $140,500 for single family units. 

    Lewis County was a different story with declines seen in the units sold and a rise in the days on the market for all property and for single-family homes. Property sales for all types dropped 26 units to 105 and days on the market increased to 214, up over a month from 2018. The price stayed about the same, declining 1 percent to a median of $90,000. The number for single-family homes were similar with a drop of 23 units year over year, a decline of about 1 percent in median price to $110,000. There was a seven day increase to time on the market to 146 days. 

    The market was mixed in St. Lawrence County. The overall number of units sold declined by over 3 percent to 334, while the median sale price also went down by about 6 percent to $80,000. A bright spot in property sales was the thirty-four day drop in time on the market to 194 days. By contrast, single family home sales increased by 9 percent to 313 units. Similar to all property sales, the price declined, however it was only a 2 percent decline to $90,000. Days on the market also fell by over a month to 184 days. 

    These figures are in line with New York State data which is similarly mixed. Statewide, the median price of single family homes increased 5.8 percent over the period in 2018. Days on the market dropped 3.7 percent and the number of units sold decreased 5.2 percent. 

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes that, through May, sales for the year are down about 1.1 percent while the median price increased 4.8 percent and days on the market were flat. Narrowing it to the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont), NAR said that this region experienced the biggest increase in sales. 

    What does this mean to buyers and sellers in our area? Overall, the tri-county market is healthy through the first six months. If the trend continues, housing sales will be equal to last year with modest increases in price and sales happening a little faster. With interest rates still relatively low, it may be a great time to buy. 

    One word of caution, in certain areas within the tri-county region, sales, median price, and/or days on the market may vary greatly from the above figures. Similarly, certain types of property or price ranges may also experience stronger or weaker sales. Your best source of information is a Realtor. He or she can give you a much more focused report that will fit your needs and desires. 

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Q2 home market a mixed bag: Sales lose last year’s momentum through first half of 2013

Home sales through the second quarter of 2013 in Jefferson County have lost momentum when compared with the first half of last year, according to data from the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.

While sales in Jefferson County are still strong, they’ve dipped slightly through the first six months of the year after what Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the board, described as a “terrific year” for Realtors in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties in 2012.

A total of 36 fewer homes, or 10 percent, were sold in Jefferson County compared with the same period last year, a decrease from 405 to 369 units. Comparing the second quarter by itself — April through June — 37 fewer homes, or 18 percent, were sold compared with last year, a decrease from 239 to 202 homes. The median price of homes climbed by $14,000, or 2 percent, from last year, from $142,500 to $156,500.

Realtors in Lewis County sold 64 homes through the second quarter, the same number as last year. Four fewer homes, or 11 percent, were sold from April through June this year, a decrease from 38 to 34 homes. The median price of homes increased by $8,000, or 7 percent, from last year through the second quarter, from $108,000 to $116,000.

In St. Lawrence County, six fewer homes, or 3 percent, were sold this year, a decrease from 234 to 228. From April through June, 13 fewer homes, or 9 percent, were sold, a drop from 141 to 128 homes. The median price of homes through the second quarter decreased by $1,300, or 2 percent, from $76,300 to $75,000.

The makeup of the housing market in the region outside Fort Drum has changed this year, Mr. Evans said, due to the handful of large apartment complexes built to serve the military population. An increasing number of military families could be deciding to rent units, rather than buy houses. But while the 369 Jefferson County home sales through six months are down from last year, that figure still tops 2011’s mark of 339 homes.

“I don’t expect sales to be as great as last year at the moment, but it’s going to be a good year,” Mr. Evans said. “You now have the brand new apartment properties coming up for families, and some people may decide to rent rather than buy. In some cases, soldiers may come back from overseas and rent units because they’re going to be here only a year and don’t want to plant roots.”

Sales in St. Lawrence County, which aren’t impacted as much by trends at Fort Drum, have stayed in the same range over the past five years, Mr. Evans said.

“They’ve been down for the past couple of years, but only slightly,” he said. “One of the blessings that St. Lawrence County has is that sales don’t drop as much as they can in Jefferson County, but they also don’t reap as much benefit when the economy jumps.”

Deployments at Fort Drum may be another factor impacting housing sales this year. Of the 17,852 soldiers assigned at Fort Drum, a total of 5,152 are overseas, according to a report published July 15 by the Army’s Installation Management Command. A total of 11,194 soldiers have families, and 7,331 of them live off post.

The report also gauges the number of rental units sold within 20 miles of Fort Drum. Some 2,700 rental units have been added to the market since 2006, data show, and there are about 1,100 rental units under construction. A total of 40 units were added to the market in 2012. Based on seven major housing projects under construction, a total of 600 units are projected to open in 2013, 300 in 2014 and 200 in 2015.

Ted Booker is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. Contact him at tbooker@wdt.net or 661-2371.