North country housing market strong — for now

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Real estate agent Brittany L. Mattot says buyers could normally choose from at least a dozen houses for sale in Canton.

That’s not the case now. There are currently only three listings.

“It’s unheard of,” said Ms. Mattot, who’s with County Seat Realty in Canton and serves as president of the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors.

“It’s still a sellers’ market,” she said.

There just isn’t enough inventory to meet demand in the north country’s housing market, local realtors said.

“We’re begging people to sell their homes,” said Jennifer L. Flynn, with Bridgeview Real Estate Services in Watertown.

Ms. Mattot knows of a split-level house just outside of the village that was on the market just 48 hours when it sold. She showed it to 20 potential buyers and the owners got five offers.

“People are just looking for houses and buying,” she said.

The region’s housing market skyrocketed last year after the industry struggled at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when real estate agents weren’t allowed to show houses.

When those restrictions were lifted, the market exploded.

A year later, the market remains strong, said Lance Evans, executive officer for the Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence Board of Realtors.

With the lack of listings, housing prices continue to climb, jumping from a median of $161,000 in 2021 to $182,000 during the previous year in Jefferson County, $122,000 to $150,000 in Lewis County and $99,500 to $120,000 in St. Lawrence County.

And they’re going quicker, Mr. Evans said.

In Jefferson County, single-family homes were on the market around 58 days, compared to 86 the year before, 71 days from 132 in Lewis County and 117 days from 165 in St. Lawrence County.

Experts in the country aren’t sure what will happen when mortgage rates go up.

Mr. Evans stressed home buyers can still rely on good interest rates, even after they will soon be going up incrementally.

He thinks local sellers will still be in the driver’s seat in the months ahead. They are still getting multiple offers and getting more than their asking prices.

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