ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new report from Realtor.com shows home prices in the Rochester area rose by more than 7% last month.
Local real estate agent Angie Flack Brown, who is the lead agent for her team at Keller Williams Realty, explains that when you consider national trends and numbers, there are contextual things to consider.
“The ‘who buyer’ pool right now is a very different group of buyers under a different financial circumstance,” Brown said.
Those offers may have been written in April or early May when inflation and the cost of other items such as gas were much lower. The biggest change, however, is interest rates.
“If we look back to February of 2022, we were in the mid 3’s for interest rates. Fast forward to today we’re in the mid 5’s for interest rates so that jump is going to make a monthly payment significantly higher so people are going to be looking maybe at less expensive homes than they were a few months ago,” Brown said.
The impact of inflation is also causing would-be homebuyers to wait even longer, knowing purchasing a home is considered a wealth investment.
“They have less money to spend on housing because they’re spending more money on gas and food and all of the other things but then they’re also thinking about what’s the future going to look like,” Brown said. “If we’re at an 8 percent-ish inflation rate today, are we going to up to 10%, 11%, or 12% a year from now, and am I going to be able to afford to make the same payment?”
The real estate agent, who has been in the business for over 20 years, said people shouldn’t just give up on dreams of owning a home; these past few years have been more of an anomaly, and trends are still pointed towards evening out again.
There are several ways to help alleviate some costs, such as the New York State first-time homebuyer program.
Monroe County also offers its own programs to help first-time homebuyers better understand the lay of the land.
“The resources that we have in Monroe County are mostly directed towards low to moderate-income households purchasing their first homes in the form of down payment assistance, in the form of grants. forgivable loans, in terms of financial assistance,” said Mary Leo, Executive Director of the Housing Council at Pathstone.
The Housing Council also has many resources in terms of information, planning guides, and professionals in the community, such as housing counselors on the team that you can access at any income point.
There will be a free virtual workshop on Tuesday, July 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. for first-time homebuyers called “Successful Homeownership – What to know when you own a home.”
Information to register for that event can be found here