Henrietta, N.Y.—Like most Americans, it’s always been Lee Kern’s goal to own his own home. Five months ago, that dream was realized when he purchased a newly built two-story home in the Berkshire Park subdivision in Henrietta.
“Eveything is customizable to suit your style,” he says. “You can choose the home, you care more about it and it supports the economy.”
The number of people buying new homes in Monroe County like Kern is on the rise.
According to the Rochester Home Builder’s Association, the number of home building permits issued in just the first nine months of 2012 has increased by 16 percent from last year.
“Activity has picked up drastically over the six months,” says RHBA CEO Rick Herman. “We're seeing more and more prospective buyers in the marketplace.”
Herman points out that the housing market in Rochester has always been relatively stable. He says this area hasn’t suffered the double digit depreciation values like many other communities in the U.S. In some cases, he says local home values have actually appreciated.
Local figures mirror a national trend. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report which showed the number of homes built increased 15 percent from August to September this year— that’s the highest percentage since 2008.
“Nationally, the consumer confidence is starting to come back,” Herman says. “Regionally, people have started to realize that our housing market doesn't see the high highs and the low lows. People have now recognized that a new home is a good investment.”
Bernard Iacovangelo agrees. He’s the CEO of Faber Homes and is the developer of the Berkshire Park subdivision.
In the subdivision, he has built more than 480 homes and plans to build more. He is already building in Greece and plans to work on another subdivision in Chili. He says in the Rochester area, builders tend to build a home when there is a buyer instead of building speculatively.
Iacovangelo says the conditions are perfect to purchase a home now.
“People are seizing the opportunity,” he says. “They're saying [the low interest rates] aren’t going to last forever. We're in such a perfect environment to buy. People are saying ‘Let's go out there and make that decision’.”
Herman and Iacovangelo both agree that home buying creates jobs and helps the local economy.
Kern is a good example of that.
“When [my wife and I] bought this house, we went to the Lowe's up the street a million times to get things… decorations, mowers. It's your house and you spend more money to take care of it.”