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New York State home sales decline, realtors say business is at a “dull crawl”

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(WBNG) -- The National Association of Realtors says home sales have dropped 8.5 percent nationally from February to March. In New York, the numbers are even worse.

The New York State Association of Realtors reports a nearly 15 percent drop in home sales in just the month of March.

"We're unable to do any in-person showings, meaning we can't see or talk to anybody face-to-face," said Robert Farrell, a local real estate broker with EXIT Realty Homeward Bound.

Agents are turning to virtual showings, but not seeing a house in-person can be a tough sell.

"We are still selling homes, but the offers are coming in are typically contingent, or based upon a final walk through. That might be the first time they're seeing the house," said Farrell.

Farrell says buying a home isn't a purchase that should be made lightly. He says right now, the key is having patience.

However, there is some good news for home buyers. The New York Association of Realtors says the month of March saw the lowest mortgage rates since August 2016, at 3.45 percent on a 30-year-fixed mortgage.

Farrell says after the pandemic, he's expecting to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think you're going to see a rush of buyers ready to buy, and sellers ready to sell, because the pent up demand of the spring that should be in full force, has been delayed," said Farrell.

Katie Jones

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