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Home sales up for 2015, but market should cool

Kristy O'Malley

Kristy O’Malley

Home sales are up year-over-year for the third quarter of 2015 in greater Rochester amid low interest rates, but the market is expected to cool off as it usually does in winter.

Sales were up by 8.4 percent, to 4020 transactions, up from 3,708 in the third quarter of 2014, according to data released Friday by the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.

“Buyers were active during the summer months, most likely hoping to take advantage of lower interest rates still available before the looming increase, anticipated before year’s end,” said Andy Burke, president of the association.

In addition to Monroe County, the association tracks real estate data for Ontario, Livingston, Wayne, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Yates, Allegany, Steuben and Seneca counties.

Compared to the same quarter in the previous year, median sales prices in those counties rose 6.7 percent, and pending sales rose 3.9 percent, which the association regarded as a good sign for the fourth quarter.

Activity was especially strong in northern Monroe County; Webster, Irondequoit, Parma and Hamlin showed gains of 15 to 24 percent in closed sales over the same period in 2014.

The median sale price of a home in the region rose 6.7 percent to $136,000.

Building permits for single-family and multi-family homes from January to September also increased, compared to the same nine months in 2014, according to data released by the Rochester Home Builders’ Association Inc.

“Once again, the Rochester and Finger Lakes market is leading in this great comeback of new home building,” said Joe Sortino, chairman of the home builders’ association, and president of Sortino Properties, in a statement.

The home builders’ association tracks data in Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties, only Wayne saw a decrease in building permits.

Monroe County had 499 multifamily building permits and 650 single family building permits, and increase of 209 and 13, respectively, over the same period in 2014.

Ontario County had 121 permits for multi-family structures, an increase of 39 over last year, and 273 for single-family structures, up by 96.

Wayne County had 18 single-family permits, and no multi-family permits, a decrease of 20 and 1 permits, respectively.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of the Genesee Region forecasted interest rates to remain flat at 4 percent by the end of 2015.  Rates were up slightly from 3.875 percent to 4 percent in the third quarter.

The bankers association said that low interest rates continue to increase demand for refinancing and home buying. It attributed an increase in home buying in the quarter to the usual seasonality of home buying in the market.

The bankers association also plans to hold a series of classes about buying and selling homes. It is set for 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14 at Monroe Community College’s R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, 1000 E. Henrietta Road, Brighton.

To register, visit–selling-expo.