September 11, 2008


Cortland Real Estate market stays steady

Latest figures show 6 percent increase in sale of single family houses throughout county

Real Estate

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Several real estate signs dot Floral Avenue in Cortland. Homes sales are up in Cortland County.

By Elaine Hughes
Staff reporter

Despite high foreclosure rates across the nation, Cortland County housing sales have remained consistent because of low interest rates and the area’s low prices.
Since January, single-family houses have sold for an average of $115,000 in Cortland County, and in July, real estate agents sold 48 single-family houses in the county.
This is a 6 percent sales increase, compared with last July, when 45 single-family houses were sold, according to figures released by Nancy Oustad, executive officer of the Cortland County Board of Realtors.
Houses account for about half of the county’s real estate sales because of a large amount of land used for farming and commercial property, said David Briggs, who assesses homes in Cortland, Cortlandville, Virgil, Taylor and Willet.
Unlike many other parts of the country, steady prices have prevented Cortland from experiencing high foreclosure rates and plummeting housing sales.
“It’s not like California, where a $250,000 house has dropped in value and is now worth $100,000,” Briggs said. “This county is more consistent in pricing and doesn’t experience as many big highs or lows.”
Last year, $98,000 was the median price of a single-family house purchased in Cortland County  from January until July. This figure increased by 9 percent during the same time period this year, making $107,000 the median price for a single-family house.
Relatively low prices also attract first-time buyers to Cortland County, with Virgil becoming an increasingly popular place for homeowners, Briggs said.
“People shouldn’t get confused with what they see on the news about the housing market,” Briggs said. “People will always want to buy houses, and our market is still strong.”
Statewide, sales of single-family homes increased by 6 percent from June to July, with 35 counties increasing sales during this time period. This outpaced the national 3.1 percent sales increase of single-family houses from June to July.
In Cortland, real estate agents had an exceptional summer season, and the county’s housing market continues to be strong with low interest rates attracting more buyers, said Nicole Wynn, president of the Cortland County Board of Realtors.


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