The high number of new rental apartments and townhouses claimed by military families at housing complexes this summer caused Jefferson County home sales during the third quarter to slow markedly, according to Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors statistics.
Compared with the third quarter of 2012, Jefferson County residential sales plummeted by 18 percent, or 53 units, from 315 to 258. Year-to-date property sales as of Sept. 30 show that total home sales are down by 91 units from last year, dropping by 13 percent from 720 to 629 units.
Its a downward trend that Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the board, attributes mainly to the widespread availability of rental apartments and townhouses built to serve the military population at Fort Drum.
The advantage that the Preserve at Autumn Ridge and Beaver Meadows (in Watertown) have is that you can walk in and buy brand new, Mr. Evans said. When no one else has lived in your house yet, theres a major difference.
Third-quarter home sales in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties rose from last year. Lewis County sales jumped by 15 percent, or eight units, from 52 to 60; St. Lawrence County sales increased by 9 percent, or 15 units, from 164 to 179. Year-to-date as of Sept. 30, Lewis County home sales rose by 8 percent, from 115 to 124, and St. Lawrence County sales increased 3 percent, from 398 to 409.
If you look at what happened away from the apartments in Jefferson County, sales are better in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Overall, sales have been stable in those counties over the past two years.