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Noelle Sheber's Blog

By Noelle Perrone Sheber | Agent in Kingston, NY

Upstate New York: Not all Markets are Created Equal

As a Realtor, specializing in residential sales in the New York States Hudson Valley region, specifically Ulster, Greene, and Dutchess Counties I feel that it's my duty to help educate the public on what's really happening. It's crucial for those of you who are in the market for a new home to remember that real estate is "local".  That means that the sweeping generalizations made by the media about the crash of the housing market is not necessarity true for all areas.  That's why I thought you might be interested in the following information about homeownership in general as well as specific areas in the Upstate NY markets.  This information was recently published by NYSAR (New York State Associations of Realtors)

Quick Facts
• According to a recent report by Moody’s Economy.com, the Syracuse, Buffalo,
Rochester and Albany metro areas are ranked among America’s 25 strongest housing
markets. The report, which was formulated for Forbes.com, looked at
Census-defined metro areas with populations more than 500,000. Moody’s prepared
forecasts through 2011 and compared them to 2008 second quarter statistics to
determine which of the metro markets were closest to recovery. The report also
named the 25 weakest markets and no New York State market was on that list.

• Homeownership remains a good long-term investment and conditions are ideal for
qualified buyers – prices have moderated, mortgage rates are down and high
inventory provides greater options. Programs such as the federal first-time
homebuyer tax credit available through July will bring buyers to the market, and
the federal programs are helping to improve the credit market.

• Owning a home remains a solid investment as evidenced by a NAR research
report, which indicates that real estate has delivered the most consistent
positive return over any investment during the last 40 years. In fact, given the
leverage in purchasing a home, the average return on a 5 percent down payment
over 10 years is usually three to five times greater than stock market returns.

• The FHA single-family loan program is alive and well. As specialty mortgages
have faded away, FHA is stepping in. In fact, the FHA market share is expected
to jump from just 6 percent in 2007 to as much as 40 percent in 2009.

• A modest recovery for existing-home sales is expected later in 2009. Pent-up
demand, coupled with today’s safer mortgage products, will lead to market

• The first-time home buyer tax credit amounts to a 15-year, interest-free
$7,500 loan, but it is only available through July of 2009.

• Low interest rates, coupled with price declines give trade-up buyers a unique
opportunity to take advantage of market conditions. What an owner may lose on
the sell side can be more than recovered on the buy side.

• All housing markets are local and the most important market conditions for
consumers to consider are those where they wish to live. Just as there is no
“national” weather forecast, there is no “national” housing market. The housing
market conditions in another state, another area of the country or even another
municipality within New York State have no bearing on the conditions in your
local market.

• A NYSAR-commissioned study of homeowners found the typical homeowner has been
in their house for nine years. In December 2008, the statewide median sales
price was $220,000 and in December 2000, it was $143,000. (NOTE: NYSAR did not
report median sales price prior to 2000.)

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