ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Greater Rochester Association of Realtors has released housing price data for the first quarter of 2022. Compared to 2021’s first quarter, fewer homes are being bought, and are more expensive.

But in terms of trends and percent change, it’s a decrease from 2021’s white hot first quarter. GRAR’s “housing affordability index” has lowered by 6.5 percentage points in that same timeframe for the Greater Rochester Area.

Lanie Bittner of the GRAR says that Rochester has been a seller’s market for six or seven years, in her view. Recently, the pandemic has supercharged the same trends that have been escalating.

“There are fewer houses to go under contract and fewer houses to close,” Bittner said. “And as a result, you’re seeing an increase in the percentage of original price accepted.”

Some numbers for the Greater Rochester Region:

  • Median home sales price: $160,000 (2021) to $175,000 (2022) – 9.4% increase
  • Homes sold: 2,770 (2021) to 2,416 (2022) – 12.8% decrease

Monroe County:

  • 12.4% increase in homes for sale
  • 4.2% percent decrease in new listings
  • Sales price went up 9.3% to $183,000 this year
  • Closed sales decreased by 13.5%

Bittner says that while this isn’t a drastic change, she views these numbers as a trend, and are “adjustments;” but still would call it a seller’s market.

“We’re seeing homes that would maybe have 10 offers in 2021, have five offers now,” she said. But even with these “adjustments,” CPA Dave Young says that there are other factors here, in both market correction and affordability.

“The Fed just increased by 50 basis points, which is half a percent,” he said. “And that’s going to ripple through the all the interest rates, so the mortgage rates are going to be going up… The cost of a mortgage is over 6%. That’s a big increase over where it was just you know, six months ago.”

The more homes cost, the less likely people are to buy. He adds that most people — unless they are first-time homebuyers — who are selling, will also become buyers. Because of this current trend, people buying with all-cash offers will have better luck.

But when it comes to affordability, there are still some things working against the everyday buyer: factors like inflation, somewhat stagnant wage increases, as well as stubbornly high energy and cost of living prices, will naturally bring the prices down, but over a longer period.

“The cost of housing or the what you’re selling your house for will go down because the buyer can only afford so much,” he said.

But he adds that unless the change is more dramatic, the change could start pricing people out of homes; even in Rochester, a historically affordable area.

“I think it’s a desirable place to live. I love it here,” he said. “People who are paying to live, you know, to buy a new home is gonna get priced out, but also the cost of rents are going up. So it’s a double-edged sword for a lot of these folks.”

Original press release:

Full county by county breakdown: