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Expensive homes selling more than last year

TRI-COUNTY AREA—While many areas in the country are facing decreasing home sales and prices, Yates and Schuyler Counties have experienced an increase in more expensive homes selling so far this year.
For both counties, the increases were the two highest in the state. According to the New York State Association of Realtors, the median home price (comparing Jan. 1 to June 30, of 2010 versus 2009) in Yates County increased 21.1 percent. For Yates, the 2010 median price was $108,950, and in 2009 it was $90,000.
There was still an increase, despite Yates County home sales staying basically even with last year (in 2010, 112 homes were sold and last year 111 were sold).
Of those 112 homes in Yates, 18 were sold at $300,000 or higher. During the first half of last year, only seven homes sold above this price. Ron Miller, Finger Lakes Realty representative and NYSAR member, said a small number of more expensive homes can easily influence the median price when sold, like what happened in Yates.
Also affecting the price were more homes selling between $101,000 and $125,000. The number of sales went up to 22 this year, from only eight last year. In addition, there were fewer homes sold at prices less than the median this year.
In Schuyler County, the median home price increased 36.6 percent. Schuyler’s median price for the first half of this year was $122,250. Last year, it was $89,500. For Schuyler, the number of homes sold in the same time also went up, to 59 homes this year, from 42 last year.
Of those 59 homes, six sold for $300,000 or more. In 2009, no homes sold over $300,000. More homes were also sold in the $126,000 to $150,000 price range. According to NYSAR, 12 homes sold in this range, up from the six that sold last year.
Miller said this year, he is seeing the average home selling between $110,000 to $130,000. He explained that in this area, if enough houses sell far below or above the general average, the median price can change drastically.
In addition to bucking the trend, Yates and Schuyler also did better than New York. The state median home price increased 12.1 percent, comparing January through June of 2010, versus the same period for 2009. Tompkins County had a 6.9 percent increase, and Steuben County had a 5.6 percent increase. Right behind Schuyler and Yates was Chemung with 21 percent.
“There was more activity on the higher end (of the market),” said Sal Prividera, director of communications for NYSAR. However, he attributed this to the first time home buyer tax credit, which expired April 30.




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