As you probably know, real estate activity in Buffalo is HOT, just like our summer has been. Multiple offers, sales over asking price, open houses with 50 to 100 people attending (our listing at 3 Somersby in Amherst recently had 121 groups attend one Sunday and sold over asking that weekend – for all cash). We know the Buffalo News and Business First all report regional sales information provided by BNAR pulled from the MLS, but this means nothing for the seller or buyer in a specific neighborhood. Real estate is local. Just like national stats mean nothing for WNY, WNY stats mean nothing for a seller in Amherst (and Amherst may not mean that much for those in a hamlet we know as Eggertsville, located within Amherst). Let’s start today with looking at that such neighborhood.
I ran an analysis of all of the MLS sales in Eggertsvile (bounded roughly between Buffalo, Sheridan Dr and Berryman/Getzville in Snyder). I used August 1st to July 31st periods for the past three years to obtain the most recent 12 months of activity, as of this past week. Here’s the facts:
Over the past three years, average prices have been as follows:
- 2012-2013: $191,616
- 2013-2014: $163,263
- 2014-2015: $177,114 (8.48% increase)
Averages can be skewed by outliers, like excessively high or low sales. Median sales prices (the middle price) is often a better view of how prices trend. Here are the median sales prices in Eggertsville:
- 2012-2013: $137,000
- 2013-2014: $129,950
- 2014-2015: $136,500 (5.04% increase)
“WHAT?? I thought prices were UP?” Well they are this past year, and at 5% is a good healthy increase (national averages usually run 2-3%). But they seem to be flat over the past three years here.
The 2012-2013 period had some exceptionally high sales, highlighted by the most expensive – the 7,100 sqft estate at 790 Lebrun which was purchased for $1,050,000 by former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone as you know left the Bills high and dry New Year’s Eve 2014 and listed his home for $1.5mm after some extensive renovations (eventually selling for $1.392M this past May 2015). Two others sold in the $800s, where the rest were in the $500s and lower. When taking out these three homes (out of a total of 163 sold within 2012-2013), the average drops to $178,053 but the median stays the same at $137,000. 2014-2015 also saw a few other high sales. In addition to Marrone’s, there were two in the $800s and one in the $700s. Excluding these gives us an average of $157,345 and a median slightly lower at $135,000. In 2012-2013, no homes in Eggertsville sold over $530,000.
This shows that yes, 2014 and 2015 has been a great period for sellers as prices have increased 8.5% on average over that same period from last year. Some of this is due to inventory. Let’s look at the number of sales, and a few other stats, during these periods in Eggertsville:
- 2012-2013: Sales – 163, DOM – avg 71, median 49
- 2013-2014: Sales – 154, DOM – avg 45, median 26
- 2014-2015: Sales – 162, DOM – avg 46, median 20
As you saw with average vs median prices, median values tend to give a more accurate picture of what’s going on. The average includes homes that sell in 0 days (sold before hitting the MLS) and some that take over 300 days (due to being overpriced or some other factor).
Before running these numbers, I felt that inventory was really low this past year. Buyers weren’t finding a lot of homes they liked and listings were selling quickly and open houses were packed. Surprisingly, unit sales have been basically flat over the past two years, and actually UP 5.2% year over year (YOY). The median DOM (the days a house is listed for sale, from list date to sales contract (not closing date), dropped almost 60% over two years, and 23% YOY. What this means for sellers is means housing are selling almost a week faster than last year and instead of over a month and a half waiting to get a contract, your house sells in less than three weeks typically.
Our sellers and buyers are seeing this in the market. There is a good selection of homes, but you have to be that much faster to see houses and make offers. Why is this? Are buyers less dependent on their Realtors for bringing new listings to their attention, instead finding houses online before their broker notifies them? Or is it also the new desire to buy homes and it just motivates buyers to move quicker, and also sellers to accept deals sooner.
One last set of stats:
- 2012-2013: SP/LP – 96-97%
- 2013-2014: SP/LP – 97%
- 2014-2015: SP/LP – 97-98%
Homes have been selling for very close to asking price (sale price to list price) for the past three years, though it has shown a slight trend up each year. So if you think you are always going to get a good deal and make an offer 10% below asking price, just know that most homes sell for just 2% below asking price today.