Just like the weather, the residential real estate market in Rochester this year has been unusually hot. Already, about 6,000 homes have been sold in 2016, an increase of 16% year-over-year. New listings have also increased by 10% compared to the same period in 2015, while 133 new homes have been approved for construction.
And because of the famously intense Rochester winters, the coming summer months are always the busiest time of the year for home sales.
There are two primary reasons for the booming local real estate market. The inventory of homes for sale in Rochester is low this year, and with the economy slowly but steadily improving, the Rochester real estate market is trending upwards.
And since about 32% of people on the market for a home are first time homebuyers, many Rochester residents are likely wondering if 2016 is the right time to take the plunge and buy a home. Unsurprisingly, some minority residents will find the deck stacked against them once they decide to start looking.
When the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported on the challenges facing first time home buyers last year, the paper found that nonwhite residents in the city had a much harder time getting a mortgage and buying a home, while foreclosures disproportionately affected minority neighborhoods.
According to ACTRochester, minorities in the Flower City are far less likely to own a home.
Between 2010 and 2014, 74% of white Rochester residents owned a home, compared to 35% of Hispanics and 34% of African-Americans. Not only that, but “the rates of homeownership among African Americans were about 10 points higher statewide and nationally than in the region.”
Even so, financial experts say that buying a home can actually result in lower monthly living expenses.
“Someone making $30,000 in a city like Rochester is much better off cleaning up their credit, getting down-payment assistance and becoming a homeowner,” so long as the house is in good condition, said Ruhi Maker, an attorney with Empire Justice, to the Democrat and Chronicle.