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Upstate NY Housing Market Slowly Rebounding

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, but fewer homes are selling. Those following the Upstate New York housing market are seeing several "mixed messages" - Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more.

New York State home sales in the first quarter of 2011 followed the national trend, lagging behind last year's federal tax credit-driven market, and falling nearly 5 percent. At the same time, the median sales price increased by more than 5 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

Sal Prividera is Director of Communications for the New York State Association of REALTORS, Incorporated. He says the 1st quarter slowdown of sales was not unexpected because the 1st quarter of 2010 was influenced by the now-expired federal home buyer tax credit.

The realtors are calling for the Assembly to pass Governor Andrew Cuomo's two-percent property tax cap as the next logical step to provide meaningful relief to the Empire State's overburdened property taxpayers.

Taxes aren't playing as big a role in the Saratoga County Housing Market, where more people are opting to rent instead of buying a home; observers attributing that trend to the influx of high tech jobs being created by new companies, like GlobalFoundries. Jim Angus is the Vice President of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation.

Angus believes new people to the area eventually will settle into permanent housing, taking apartments for the short term. Sal Prividera says it's a good time for those who are looking to buy now and can qualify for a mortgage, and if taxes are capped, the outlook gets even better.

The Realtors are urging all New Yorkers to write or call their legislators in Albany to ask them to pass the Governor's tax cap proposal.

Data is available HERE.