Fleeing NYC and COVID, buyers snap up waterfront homes in Jefferson County

Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:13 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Waterfront homes in Jefferson County are in high demand and selling quickly.

The market is hot for houses like this one along Lake Ontario.

“This property in particular actually sold in a couple days and it was with multiple offers. They bought it sight unseen,” said Desiree Roberts, associate broker, Lake Ontario Realty.

And houses along the St Lawrence River are selling quickly, too.

“It’s been a record year for all agents. This year more than ever we are seeing an influx of more cash buyers in the area, coming from outside the area,” said Cathy Garlock, Garlock Realty.

Numbers from the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors database show waterfront sales on the lake and river are up about 130 percent in the last three months, compared to 2019.

“We didn’t think that we would see that because part of March, April, May, things were fairly shut down, but it has picked up and agents are telling me it’s very busy,” said Lance Evans, executive officer, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.

As for why sales are increasing, real estate agents say there are few reasons.

Garlock says more buyers are coming from the New York City area, which had a high rate of COVID-19.

“We are very safe here. We have very few cases and I think that has been very appealing for people coming from a very busy market,” she said.

Garlock says the buyer of a home in the town of Alexandria plans to work remotely. He couldn’t go to Canada this year because of travel restrictions, so decided to buy here.

Roberts says it was the same story for the buyers of a home in Three Mile Bay.

“A lot people in particular maybe had vacation homes that might have been planned outside the country or just vacations out of the area that got cancelled because COVID and this is something they can go away to still,” said Roberts.

Meanwhile, Garlock says people are also taking advantage of low interest rates and want to get their money out of the stock market.

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