Rochester housing market still facing low inventory, high prices

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you’re in the market to buy a home, experts say you should hunt with a side of caution, as the market is still seeing extremely low inventory, with high prices.

Though inventory is at a record low, it’s not all bad news for buyers. As of June this year, the number of homes for sale is down by 31% in Monroe County specifically.

"Selling, it’s as good as a selling market now than it ever has been in Rochester,” said Josh Bartolotta, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty.

According to the housing report released Thursday by the New York State Association of Realtors, the median sales price in the state jumped from $300,000 in June of last year to $385,000 as of last month.

The catch 22, if you will, is that mortgage interest rates continue to be favorable for buyers, but "For Sale" signs seem to be a needle in a haystack. So, the question we’re asking is “Should buyers wait?”

"I don’t think it makes sense to purposely wait, in hopes that it will be better because the likelihood isn’t great but I don’t think people should settle either. People have to be realistic about what they need and what they can afford,” Bartolotta said.

On the other hand, the "can’t miss out" mentality on mortgage rates right now is pushing some buyers to max out, which is a door you might not want to knock on.

"If people feel like they’re priced out of the kind of house they need then yes, maybe it makes sense to wait a year or two to wait for things to regulate a little bit and at least be a little more stable,” Bartolotta said.

Experts say something we’re seeing now more than we ever have in the market is an escalation clause.

“It’s allowing buyers to be more competitive in this market without having to just wildly throw out a number and hope it’s enough,” Bartolotta added.

In that housing report, it says the monthly average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased just slightly to 2.98% this past June, from 2.96% in May.