I love New York. I wasn’t born here, but now I call it home. As a real estate investor, I enjoy the challenge of navigating the complexities of our local markets. In fact, lately I’ve been eyeing the opportunities and risks of expanding my portfolio by real estate investing in Albany, New York. It certainly looks like there’s good opportunity there. Let me tell you what the market currently looks like for investors.
Albany New York’s Real Estate Market Conditions for Investors
The Albany metropolitan area is a solid market for real estate investors on the selling side. Prices and sales have been rising modestly but steadily for many months and they show no signs of turning around. As of late September 2017, according to research by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, the median price of a house in the area went up 8% in the last 12 months. Like the regional market, new residential listings in Albany are down significantly—12% year-on-year—with only a 7% median price increase.
This upward price trend is driven by an ongoing inventory shortage—down by 16% regionally since August 2017—even though wages and other local market conditions remain stable. So, if you currently have an investment property to offload, now is the time. Otherwise, you can still expect to see good potential returns here—if you find a house at the right price.
To find solid investment opportunities, a good place to look right now is the foreclosure market as, contrary to national trends, the percentage of distressed properties in Albany is still rising. In fact, foreclosure rates have gone up year-over-year by 2%, according to recent research. In addition, we still have a significant shadow inventory of foreclosures yet to be released for sale by either the banks or the Albany County Land Bank Association.
These foreclosures may appear to provide a nice opportunity for investors but they are only part of a larger pool of distressed properties. We need to look at a little of the historical context to understand the nature and scope of this housing inventory. As in many older cities, industry has given way to government, healthcare, technology, and education as the main employers, leading to a suburban-bound exodus of residents. This factor, coupled with the ongoing effects of the 2008 recession, laid the backdrop for homeowners who are still trying to get on their feet financially.
And that’s exactly where one of the best real estate investment opportunities are in Albany— finding homeowners in distress before the foreclosure happens to them. Not all these distressed properties in Albany will be in derelict condition despite the homeowner’s financial woes, which makes them easier to rehab and gain optimal potential returns in a rising seller’s market. They are harder to find though, and the task is somewhat complicated by a New York State program to buy the mortgages of homeowners in danger of foreclosure, which bought 11 mortgages in Albany and 40 in the Albany area when it kicked off in August 2017. So, expect that competition among real estate investors will be tough.
Finding the Best Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Albany, NY
As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I don’t worry too much about competition when looking for the best leads—even in Albany. My HomeVestors® franchise brand and the nationally-recognized “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing is trusted by home sellers. They know who to call when they need out of a difficult financial situation. Even though Albany is only still slowly recovering from the 2008 recession, I am pleased to be positioned to help the community by restoring the value of one investment house at a time.
You could help Albany’s housing market flourish again while scaling up your real estate investment business too. Get in touch with HomeVestors to find out how.
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