It is starting to amuse me that friends from outside the area think we're crazy for focusing on real estate in today's economy. I suppose after many years living and working in New York City, it is only natural that contacts there don't understand how Buffalo can be a strong market for real estate when they see upside down mortgages every way they turn. The National Association of Realtors just reported that new home sales dropped 12.4%. Sales year-over-year fell 32.4%. Another industry report also showed last week that existing home sales sank 27.2% in July, twice as much as analysts expected. That would be the lowest level since May 1995. Fortunately, Buffalo is one of the few cities defying national trends, as recently reported in the Christian Science Monitor. Housing markets in upstate New York are strong since we never saw the ups and downs of some hot markets in the rest of the country. The article states

Home sales plunged in July and housing prices may dip again. But in six metropolitan areas, the housing picture is far brighter: Home values are rising and median prices are already well ahead of their peak during the housing bubble.

In fact, Buffalo came out at #1 of these six cities mentioned -- especially in home appreciation. Median sales price for single-family homes in Buffalo has risen 17% since 2007. Pair that with three recent rankings by Forbes naming Buffalo as the 10th best place to raise a family in the US, as one of the best cities for working mothers or as #4 on their list of America's 25 strongest housing markets.

All told, Buffalo is a great place to live. Those of us that live here -- and endure long winters, a losing football team and the ever-hopeful harbor project -- know this. It's about time that others are starting to notice.

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