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Home sales climb in March

By Rick Seltzer

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Realtors sold more homes in New York in March than they did in February, capping the strongest opening quarter to a year since 2008, according to new data from the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR).

A total of 5,099 homes sold across the state in March of this year, according to preliminary NYSAR data. That’s a 9.8 percent increase from February, when revised figures showed that 4,644 homes sold.

March’s sales were down 1.8 percent from the same month in 2011, when 5,191 homes sold. But the slip in year-over-year volume did not stop New York realtors from posting their best first-quarter sales in five years.

Realtors sold 14,408 homes in the state in the first quarter of 2012. It was the most homes sold to open a year since they sold 15,374 in the first quarter of 2008, according to NYSAR.

“Strong affordability factors, improving consumer confidence, and a mild winter increased buyer activity in the first quarter of the year, as evidenced by our strongest start to the year since 2008,” NYSAR CEO Duncan MacKenzie said in a news release. “It is an encouraging sign.”

The statewide median sale price in March of this year was $215,000, unchanged from February’s revised median price. That is 2.9 percent higher than the March 2011 median price of $209,000.

In Broome County, realtors sold 82 homes in March, a sharp drop of 20.4 percent from February, when 103 homes sold. This year’s March sales results were also 6.8 percent lower than the same month of 2011, when 88 homes sold.

And Broome County’s median sale price dropped 20.2 percent from February to March of this year. The median price was $82,989 in March, compared with $104,000 in February. March’s median sale price also dropped 18.8 percent from the same month in 2011, when the median sale price came in at $102,250.

Realtors in Oneida County sold 88 homes this March, down 4.3 percent from the 92 homes they sold in February. Sales were 8.6 percent higher than in March of 2011, when 81 homes sold.

But Oneida County’s median sale price fell 14.2 percent between February and March of this year. It was $86,500 in March and $100,825 in February. The median sale price this March was more in line with the same month last year, just 4 percent below the March 2011 median of $90,100.

Onondaga County realtors increased their sales in March, selling 227 homes. Their sales jumped 8.6 percent from February, when they sold 209 homes. The county’s sales totals were virtually the same as in March of 2011, rising 1.3 percent from that month, when 224 homes sold.

March’s median sale price increased over February’s in Onondaga County. Homes sold in the county had a median price of $121,000 this March, up 4.3 percent from February’s median of $116,000. That price was down 0.8 percent from March 2011’s median of $122,000.

Contact Seltzer at rseltzer@cnybj.com

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