Real Estate: It's a seller's market in Buffalo

Three real estate agents in WNY highlight the housing market

Mike Baggerman
February 24, 2020 - 3:00 am

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Buffalo is currently in the midst of a competitive real estate market, according to multiple real estate agents in the region.

Affordability along with the overall growth of the city from its industrial past are one of the main reasons why Buffalo is sought after by people in the area and outside the region.

"It's very hard to find something with as much substantial square footage and old-character charm of 1900's and 1920's in other parts of the country," Buffalo Home Sellers' Matt Quagliano said. " It (doesn't come) near these prices. Even though our prices have increased quite a bit over the last years, it's still quite affordable and it's amazing throughout."

According to the popular real estate website Zillow, the median home value in Buffalo is $103,589. Home values have increased by more than ten percent in the past year and Zillow predicts it will rise another six percent at the end of this year.

Agents like Candace Koch of Hunt Real Estate warn that statistics provided by Zillow are deceiving because they don't factor in specific parts of the City of Buffalo. She said home values are truly based on neighborhoods and said homes in places like the Elmwood Village are substantially higher than they would be in most other parts of the city.

"Several years ago I did a project in the city and we didn't know how it would fly with new builds," Koch said. "We sold out everything within a year. It was crazy. People just want to be in the city."

Value of the homes should be examined by looking at the condition of the home, comparable sales, and general affordability of the home.

Young people typically rent apartments before they purchase a house. However, given the price of some homes, the realtors believe that they might be better-off in the long-run by purchasing a home.

"The rents in Buffalo have gone up," Susan Lenahan of MJ Peterson said. "In many of these new apartment buildings, some of those rents would equal a mortgage payment. While those out-of-towners come in and don't really know where they want to live initially, they can rent for just six months and they're starting to do that."

Koch said there is a growing trend of people from suburban areas of the region who move into the city as they get older.

2020 appears to be heading for another dominant year on the real estate front. Lenahan said Buffalo is on the radar for more demographics because of growing job options.

Lenahan and Koch said buying is attractive to most people, especially given that interest rates are currently at a low-point. However, that means it's currently a seller's market.

"I would rank everyone in an equal value when it comes to buying a home in the city versus the suburbs because everyone has a shortage right now," Koch said.

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