Housing in the Adirondacks is still in high demand more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic sparked a rush of homebuyers in metropolitan areas seeking rural respite.
In April, the last month for which there is local market data, there were fewer homes on the market than there had ever been in the past 15 years. More properties were sold in the first three months of this year than in the same period last year, or even the year before. Properties are staying on the market for less and less, and many local real estate agents continue to run multiple offers on properties that are at or above the listing price.
Due to high demand and low supply, prices skyrocket, leaving low-income buyers who cannot bid competitively on many properties.
“We are clearly in a seller’s market, and have been for well over a year”, said Rob Gillis, owner of Gillis Realty, based in Tupper Lake and Long Lake.
Margie Philo, owner of Berkshire Hathaway Adirondack Premier Properties in Lake Placid, said she has heard various reasons why so many people are choosing to buy homes in the Adirondacks right now.
“It’s almost like the perfect storm” she said.
Interest rates remain low – 3% and below, Philo said. Many companies continue to have their employees work remotely, giving people the flexibility to work wherever they want.
âThere have been people who have been stuck in there for a year or more, they’ve thought about how they’ve always wanted to buy real estate, and they’ve had time to look,â she added.
Inventory – the number of homes on the market – is very low in the Adirondacks, but it’s a trend nationwide, according to Philo.
“The only place where inventory is still readily available is in city centers, where people go” she said.
An April report from the National Association of Realtors, based on feedback from 3,541 realtors across the country, showed that with so few homes on the market across the country, homes typically sold in 17 days following registration – compared to 27 days in April. 2020. The bulk of home buyers, 85%, were looking for a home in a small town, rural or resort area.
The number of homes on the market in New York State has been declining rapidly. As of April 2020, there were 49,195 residential units on the market. As of last April, that number had fallen by more than 21%, to 38,751 properties, according to the New York State Association of Realtors. On average, compared to April 2020, the number of days residential properties were on the market in April decreased from six days, or 7.8%, to 71 days.
In the Adirondack counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Warren, the market trends are similar. The number of homes on the market in these counties, collectively, increased from 907 in April 2020 to 378 last April, according to a report from the Northern Adirondack Board of Realtors. The number of days homes have been on the market has gone down and home prices continue to skyrocket. The median selling price for residential properties was $ 225,000, an increase of over 32% from April 2020.
Michael Coughlin, association director for the Clinton County Board of Realtors and the Northern Adirondack Board of Realtors, told the Enterprise last year that stocks had been low nationwide for more than a year before. the coronavirus pandemic. He attributed the lack of inventory to the 2008 recession. At that time, buying a home was very difficult, so Coughlin said people instead turned to renovating homes they already owned, investing their money in. improving and expanding their homes.
It’s not just residential real estate that sells. Gillis spoke about various factors at play in Tupper Lake, such as the construction of the rail trail, which he said bodes well for the future of Tupper Lake businesses and, by extension, the commercial market.
Philo checked off a list of commercial properties listed by his agency that have recently been sold or are currently under contract.
“They buy vacant, commercial, residential land”, she said. âThey buy everything.
Philo cautioned buyers to work with an experienced real estate agent who knows the market.
“It’s very competitive now” she said. “It wasn’t competitive like that before.”
Gillis, who has been a real estate broker for 35 years, said he has never seen a real estate market like this. He expects it to continue like this until 2021 – for 2022 he is crossing his fingers.
“I have never seen the market so robust,” he said. “If you want to sell, now is the time.”