Against the state trend, home sales, prices up
YATES, SCHUYLER COUNTIES—Home sales and median prices for Yates County in 2011 both increased over 2010. The number of homes sold is up 3.7 percent. In 2011, 250 homes were sold. The 2010 number was 241.
The 2011 median price of a single-family home was $118,000. According to the New York State Association of Realtors, this was up 8.4 percent over the 2010 price $108,900.
Realtor Mark Malcolm said homes sold on Keuka Lake have increased for him. He said that in 2011, 54 lakeside units were sold. While in 2010, 46 homes were sold, and in 2009, 43 were sold. Malcolm added this is returning to five years ago when 81 lakefront homes were sold.
“That was a historically wonderful year,” said Malcolm.
Malcolm said some have been in the lower $200,000s, while he has also sold some houses as high as $1.4 million. Malcolm attributed the increase in sales to low interest rates. He added the prices have softened since 2008.
“Buyers feel a little more empowered,” said Malcolm.
Dick Murphy, Nothnagle realtor, said buyers were more interested in entry-level homes or houses costing over $600,000. He explained residential homes between $200,000 and $600,000 did not sell as well as those below and above that range. He added lakefront property below $350,000 or above $600,000 also sold well.
“Overall the year was good,” said Murphy. He pointed specifically to sales at the end of the year. “It was the best holiday season I have ever seen since 2003.”
Finger Lakes Realty Broker Associate Ronald Miller said that homes in the $80,000 to $110,000 range had a lot of showings. He added that, “if you had a good line of credit, the interest rates were phenomenal.”
Meanwhile, Schuyler County experienced a bigger increase. The median price of a home in 2011 was $141,250. According to the NYSAR, this is 9.3 percent more than 2010 when the price was $129,229.
The number of homes sold increased even more. There were 182 homes sold in Schuyler last year, up 37.9 percent. In 2010, 132 homes sold.
Stacey Parrish, broker for Cabins to Castles, said a lot more people are staying in the area or moving here because it is so centrally located. Parrish said house buyers are finding Schuyler County a “great commuter location” because it is within traveling distance of Corning and Ithaca.
She added that the younger generation is remaining here. Parrish explained that Schuyler offers “a vast array of property.” She said there are homes selling around $100,000 that are appealing and drawing in buyers. She also attributed the increased numbers to the growing tourism and winery industry of the Finger Lakes. The weather also helped sales at the end of the year. Parrish said, “people don’t like to look at homes when there’s snow on the ground.”
Sal Prividera Jr., director of communications for the New York State Association of Realtors, said that statewide sales are down about 4 percent, comparing 2011 to 2010. However, he said in the early third quarter of 2011, sales were down even more, around 7 percent. He explained that based on a good fourth quarter and sales in December, that gap was closed somewhat. Prividera added this good end to the year was in a time that is traditionally slow.
Prividera pointed out nationally that prices have stabilized and mortgage rates are low, which has encouraged people to buy homes. However, he did add that new home sales have been slow for a long time.
“New home sales are more tied to the economy than existing homes,” said Prividera.