BY JOHN CROPLEY, The Daily Gazette
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Sale prices for single-family houses have surged in Schenectady for the first nine months of 2019, climbing 23 percent above the same period in 2018.
Median sales prices also have been up most other cities, towns and counties tracked by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, but regionwide, the increase was only 4 percent.
The numbers are derived from the Global Multiple Listing Service co-owned by GCAR, which records most single-family housing sales in the Capital Region. The regionwide trend in 2019 has been fewer houses being listed and fewer being sold, but with a higher asking and a higher selling price.
2018 showed the same trend compared with 2017.
A year ago, the city of Schenectady held the distinction of having the lowest-priced housing market of any city, town or county individually tracked by GCAR: The 404 houses sold in Schenectady in the first nine months of 2018 brought a median price of $101,532. In the first nine months of 2019, 327 houses were sold for a median price of $125,000.
Sellers received 97.2 percent of their original asking price in 2019, vs. 94.5 percent in 2018. Average time from listing to accepted offer was only 39 days in 2019, down from 60 days in 2018.
The number of houses listed for sale in the city and the number actually sold both dropped 19 percent, suggesting that the laws of supply and demand may be partly to blame for the increase in price.
But Realtor Christopher Culihan of Coldwell Banker Prime Properties said value also is driving homebuyers to Schenectady.
“I think [it’s] affordability,” he said. “You can get more house for your money, although the taxes are certainly always a challenge.”
The overall image of the city has changed somewhat, and that also helps, he added. Though revitalization hasn’t reached all corners of every neighborhood, downtown Schenectady is a different place now from what it was when today’s homebuyers were growing up, and Culihan said that has boosted interest in the city.
“I think the overall progress downtown has helped significantly,” he said. “I think they’re doing a great job. Momentum and reputation and activity breeds activity.”
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