Houses for sale in metropolitan Rochester are staying on the market longer—but they are still selling faster here than in any other large metro nationwide.
The median time from listing to sale in July was 17 days, Realtor.com’s monthly housing market trends report for July shows. In June, Rochester’s median time on market was 12 days.
After Rochester, the metros with the fewest median days on market in July were Columbus and Nashville, both 22; Raleigh, 23; and Denver, 24. The median time on market nationwide was 35 days.
While rising mortgage rates have impacted home sales across the country, the Realtor.com report states that “housing remains expensive and fast-paced with the median asking price close to June’s all-time high while time on market is still slightly lower than last year and significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels.
“Although demand has softened greatly compared to last year,” the report adds, “housing activity remains robust compared to pre-pandemic levels.”
Several factors together could explain why Rochester’s median time on market ranks No. 1. Both the active and new listing counts are down year over year—6 percent and 21 percent, respectively. By contrast, the active-listing count nationwide in July increased by 31 percent year over year, the largest increase in inventory in the Realtor.com data history and higher than June’s growth rate of nearly 19 percent, which was the previous record. Newly listed homes across the U.S. decreased roughly 3 percent.
Rochester’s median listing price in July was $235,000, down 3 percent compared with a year earlier. Nationally, the median listing price was $449,024, up nearly 17 percent. Of the 50 large metros Realtor.com includes in its monthly report, only Cleveland had a lower median listing price.
The share of homes labeled price reduced nationwide was 19 percent; in Rochester, it was 12 percent. The Buffalo-Niagara area had the lowest share of price-reduced listings, while Rochester ranked sixth.
According to the report, seller sentiment may be shifting. While price growth nationwide has not softened significantly, “sellers may feel that they have missed the peak, or that it’s too difficult and expensive to buy another home at this time given the costs of financing.”
The report pointed to the latest Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, where the net percentage of respondents in June who thought it was a good time to sell declined by 15 percent compared to May—the biggest drop in selling sentiment since December 2020.
With two quarterly declines in U.S. gross domestic product in the first half of 2022, many economists believe a recession is on the horizon—or may have already begun. The latest data indicate Rochester’s economic rebound from the pandemic has slowed.
In the Great Recession of 2007-09, caused by the bursting of the housing bubble, home values in many markets plummeted. While real estate experts say the odds of another crash are extremely low, some metros are more susceptible than others to home-price declines in an economic downturn.
Rochester is not on that list, however. In fact, a recent Redfin analysis of housing markets in nearly 100 U.S. metros found that Rochester is among the most resilient. Its overall risk score was 10th best. Akron, Ohio, has the lowest chance of a housing downturn if the U.S. enters a recession. Buffalo ranked eighth.
“Nearly all of (the top 10 low-risk) metros are affordable with relatively slow-increasing prices, both factors that would help their housing markets in the face of a recession,” noted Redfin, a Seattle-based full-service real estate brokerage.
Added Redfin: “Affordability helps housing markets in a recession because it means people are more likely to be able to buy homes, and those places may attract people from out of town looking for lower prices.”
The most at-risk market was Riverside, Calif., followed by Boise, Idaho; Cape Coral, Fla.; North Port, Fla.; and Las Vegas.
Redfin based its risk ranking on 10 factors including home price volatility, average debt-to-income ratio, average home-loan-to-value ratio, year-over-year price growth and percent of homes flipped.
“If the U.S. does enter a recession,” says Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari, “we’re unlikely to see a housing-market crash like in the Great Recession because the factors affecting the economy are different: Most homeowners have a fair amount of home equity and not much debt and unemployment is low.”