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Realtors gear up for summer

After disappointing year, Capital District housing market is looking up

The coming onset of fair weather means the arrival spring cleaning, summer landscaping and the inevitable myriad of chores that come with both, but also people across the Capital District and beyond pulling up roots to relocate to an entirely different abode.

People start moving, doing spring cleaning and making adjustments with heir own personal assessment, and that indeed affects the market, said Carol Durant of Tech Valley Homes. "A lot of people are moving into the area because of larger company relocation, or even small company relocation."

Home sales in the Capital District have been on the decline for the past few years, according to data from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, an area trade group, but have seen recent gains.

The monthly number of homes sold and the average home price went up in February when compared to the same time last year. 338 homes were sold in the Capital District"a 20 percent increase from figures a year ago"with the average home price also rising in each of the four area counties.

"[The figures] really do reflect the fact for the past several months, the market has performed at a much better level than a year before," said Jim Ader, CEO of the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.

"For the last several months, contracts have sailedIt's now being reflected in the close sales," he continued.

Home sales have not been hurt by the federal homebuyer tax credit; first time homebuyers are enjoying an $8,000 tax credit and veteran homebuyers can receive a $6,500 tax credit. The credit expires April 30, however.

Ader said while his group cannot measure what kind of impact the tax credit has made, it's likely it has been a factor for homebuyers.

"We think when the credit endsthere will be a period of time when there will be a little bit of a lull in the market," he said.

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