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It's a seller's market. High demand for housing in WNY

Posted at 11:45 PM, Sep 22, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's a seller's market right now in Western New York. Licensed real estate salesperson Michele Dill said she had one of her busiest days in the business, and doesn't anticipate a slowdown anytime soon.

“The housing market is about as hot as it’s ever been in Buffalo, NY,” Dill said.

She said it all comes down to supply and demand.

“Currently right now our supply does not meet the demand in Buffalo, so we don’t have enough houses for sale," she said. "So when someone wants a house, you’re going to have to have a structured plan, and get a little bit creative, so that you can win a bid.”

She said some hot spots are Buffalo, North Buffalo, Amherst, Williamsville, and Hamburg. Taylor Reynolds and her family just bought a new home in Hamburg.

“As soon as we saw a photo we were like 'yes this is it,' and we'd go to click on it it would be sale pending, sale pending," she said. "And so we kind of got defeated, but it was really only for about 15 or 20 minutes because the house that we wanted, ultimately came up, and we were just really lucky because it had just been listed.”

Reynolds and her family are now selling their current Hamburg home, and are hoping it will go just as quick.

According to the New York State Association of Realitors, there's a 40% decrease in the number of homes for sale in Erie County from this August compared to last August. Last August there was 1,681 homes for sale, this August there are 1,006 homes for sale.

Prices, however, are increasing. The median sale price for a home in Erie County rose from $183,000 in August 2019 to $205,000 in August 2020, according to the report.

Dill has these tips for buyers:

  • Hire an agent, recommended by someone you trust
  • The highest bid doesn't necessarily win, the terms of the contract are also important
  • Try to get preapproved by your bank or mortgage broker
  • Have reserve funds available incase you need to bid over asking price

One incentive for buyers is favorable rates. According to Freddie Mac, the monthly average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage in August 2020 was 2.94%. That is the lowest rate since the company began tracking the data in 1971. Dill said that last August she would work with contracts that had rates around 3.75%-4%.

Dill said there was pent-up demand from when real estate offices were closed due to COVID-19.