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Business/Economy

Older neighborhoods benefiting from Buffalo's hot real estate market

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Mike Desmond/WBFO
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Housing prices in Buffalo are rising to the point prices are going up in some neighborhoods with traditionally lower prices. Council member Richard Fontana is seeing that in his Lovejoy district, where he's the elected representative and a longtime realtor.

According to Fontana, real estate prices have risen tens of thousands of dollars in the last decade. He points out how that some areas, like the Hertel Avenue neighborhood, are now too costly for many buyers. That is bringing interest to other locales.

"They might look at Riverside. They might look at Black Rock," Fontana said. "They might come over to our side of the city and look on the Cheektowaga border and say, 'Oh, geez, for $100,000 over here I get a whole house and smaller mortgage, less taxes. Let's live over here, it's a great area.'"

Houses in good condition are moving off the market in a matter of days. Homes in Lovejoy and Kaisertown, which may have sold for $60,000 a decade ago, now cost six figures.

Fontana says he believes those neighborhoods are  benefiting from an overflow of interest in city living and from long-term public investment.

"We put $25 million into the school (School 43), $1 million into brand-new beautiful street lights, LED street lights. We just sunk in about a million dollars to our Lovejoy Pool and we renovated our fire house to historic standards," Fontana said.

Fontana said the success of School 43 has been a factor in persuading people to move into the community.