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Elmira housing increase leads nation

ELMIRA—Elmira was one of the few metro areas in the country with a positive increase for the price of a single family home in 2009 versus 2008. In fact, with a 4.5 percent increase, Elmira led the country for all metro areas.
According to the National Association of Realtors, Elmira headed the top metro areas in the U.S. to have have the biggest price increase over the year in 2009’s second quarter. Elmira’s average home price for the second quarter was $85,000. The list included six Texas cities and metro areas in Louisiana, Alabama, and Montana.
“Housing in Elmira is one of the best bargains in the country as far as prices go,” said Dave Moses, Elmira-Corning Regional Board of Realtors president. “Prices were not inflated to begin with.”
Moses added that the property values were perfect for first time home buyers, which encouraged people to buy. He also said that home prices were not inflated in Elmira, so the entire area was not affected by the real estate crisis.
Moses explained the four percent increase in home prices is not just in Elmira, but in this region in general. He added though, that a few high priced houses can skew the average house price.
According to The New York State Association of Realtors, Schuyler County’s year-to-date average home price is $115,000. It is down 2.5 percent from last year’s $118,000 at this time. Yates County’s home price is down 17.5 percent, from 2009 to 2008. In 2009 it was $90,000 and in 2008 it was $109,075.
As for this upcoming year, Moses said it “looks promising.” He said he expects to see prices continue to increase, as well as activity in the housing market. However, as always, he added the winter months will be slow.
“We’re in recovery now,” said Moses. “People are still cautious.”

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