Homeownership data signals positive trend
Guest Editorial by Seth Piccirillo
Director, Niagara Falls Community Development
Both the number of annual home sales and annual average sale prices are increasing in Niagara Falls, New York, according to data provided by the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.
There is renewed interest in Niagara Falls neighborhoods, especially in single-family houses. All of our decisions, from property valuations, sale of city-owned properties and the planning of quality of life improvements, need to help this trend continue.
The Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors recorded 490 home sales in 2015, representing a 35 percent increase from 2010, and the average 2015 home sale price increased by 15 percent since the 2008 national housing market collapse, outpacing inflation by 4 percent in that same time period.
Specifically, the average sale price of single-family homes in Niagara Falls reached a five-year high in 2015, at over $60,000 per house. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development first-time homebuyer closing cost grants, administered by the Niagara Falls Community Development Department and Niagara Falls Neighborhood Housing Services Inc., have also seen a significant increase. From July 2014 to September 2016, the two agencies provided 85 first-time homebuyer grants as part of $4.8 million in homeowner purchases, with an average sale price of $61,700. The number of successful first-time homebuyer grants increased by over 200 percent from federal grant year 2014 to 2015, with a total of 158 grants provided since July 2011.
HUD funded homeowner renovations have also increased. Renovations administered by Niagara Falls Community Development, Niagara Falls Neighborhood Housing Services, Center City Neighborhood Development Corp. and Highland Community Revitalization Committee Inc. doubled in grant year 2015, with a total of 136 renovations completed since grant year 2011.
On Sept. 23, the Niagara Falls Community Development Department provided a bus tour of Niagara Falls neighborhoods to Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors members to help better acquaint agents with recent developments, ranging from new park improvements and road repairs to the Niagara Falls Culinary Center. The Community Development Department will offer more of these tours to both Realtors and bankers in the coming months.
Niagara Falls needs to tell its own story, using data, to show the region that good things are happening here.