News10NBC Investigates: ‘You feel hopeless’: Home buyers struggle in lopsided area housing market

Housing market crisis: Too few homes for people looking to buy

Housing market crisis: Too few homes for people looking to buy

GATES, N.Y. — “You feel pretty terrible. You feel hopeless that it’s never going to be your turn,” said Jessica Coleman, a first-time home buyer.

That is the new buyer’s remorse in a lopsided Rochester housing market. Here’s how slanted this sellers’ market is: Real estate agents told News10NBC we need somewhere between 700 and 1,000 homes to go on the market in one day to balance it out.

That bears repeating: 700 to 1,000 homes up for sale in one day. That would be every single home in a housing tract along Spencerport Road in Gates going up for sale in a single day — and then double it.

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean is live in that neighborhood at a house that is on the market. There are only 700 active listings in News10NBC’s eight-county region as it is. So to give buyers a fair shot at getting a home, that number needs to at least double.

And until it does, we have all kinds of people like Jessica Coleman.

“We are ready for hosting big family parties and events and we need more space,” Coleman said.

Coleman and her husband David are looking for something of their own. They married three years ago. They’ve rented a tiny home in Fairport for four years. They are first-time home buyers, but the market has shut them out.

Berkeley Brean: “How many offers have you made so far?”
Jessica Coleman: “I believe we’re up to 6,.”
Berkeley Brean: “And every single time, not picked.”
Jessica Coleman: “Correct.”
Berkeley Brean: “Did there come a time when you offered more than what you were comfortable offering just because you knew the market is so tough?”
Jessica Coleman: “Yes. There were several times that we put in offers that were over the asking price knowing that we may have to get another job on top of what we currently have.”

“The market is crazy, but you have to know how to deal with the crazy,” said Natalie Valente, Coleman’s real estate agent.

Part of her job is to be therapist.

“It’s a roller-coaster ride. They get excited, they find the house they want — okay, we’re going to put an offer in. They’re hoping for the best. And then I have to make that phone call — sorry, we didn’t get this one,” Valente said.

Here’s an example of where the cost of an average home used to be and where it is now:

  • 10 years ago in Hilton, a 1,500-square-foot home with four bedrooms and two baths went for $168,000. Today, it sells for $260,000.
  • 10 years ago, that house in Penfield sold for $182,000. Today, the price is $349,000.

Berkeley Brean: “When you find a house you like and you put in a bid and you don’t get picked and it happens six times, how do you feel that night?”
Jessica Coleman: “You feel pretty terrible. You feel hopeless that it’s never going to be your turn but then the next day you realize that you have to keep going. And you keep trying.”

Here’s what agents tell News10NBC: Imagine people who want to downsize but they can’t find a smaller, affordable home so they don’t sell. Imagine people in starter homes who see the cost of a bigger home and so they don’t sell. And coming down the driveway you have so many buyers who can’t win a bid. They meet in a jam. And the only way to loosen the jam is add 700 to 1,000 homes for sale in one day.

For the first week of June, in the eight counties around Rochester, the number of homes going on the market per day was 40. And the market needs 700, at least.

A.I. assisted with the formatting of this story. Click here to see how WHEC News 10 uses A.I.