RBJ: Topsy Turvy Rochester Real Estate, but OK

Rochester Business Journal is today reporting that, while it’s been a topsy-turvy beginning of the year, the Rochester real estate market is in good shape compared to where it was last year at this time. Home prices have remained steady since last year, with a slight .1% decrease. Nothing on the order of what’s happening elsewhere, at least not on average.

Among the many things that drives home prices is – like all markets – the availability of homes. If there’s a lot on the market, the market gets depressed, which is part of the vicious cycle affecting many parts of the country where homes lost value and homeowners foreclosed, causing still more valuation loss. Take a look out how the numbers stack up for Rochester:

Rochester Business Journal

The inventory of homes listed for sale, at 1,940, decreased by 9.1 percent from 2,134 listed a year ago, and was up 6.9 percent from 1,815 in February.

In other words, we’re doing significantly better selling homes this year than we did last year, but there appears to have been a significant jump in listings over the last few months. From March of 2007 to February 2008, we had almost 15% less homes available in Rochester, but there has been a spike.

To what extent this is reflective of a seasonal ebb and flow of the marketplace, I cannot say. I am looking for answers. Still it’s a big jump, and I wonder if the problem of the ARM mortgage crisis is coming home to Rochester in earnest.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.