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OAR: Ohio home sales increase 10%

Ohio Assoc. of Realtors news

The number of homes sold across Ohio jumped more than 10 percent in February, as the market posted gains in activity for the 20th consecutive month, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

“With each passing month we continue to make progress in building a solid foundation for a sustainable and growing housing market in Ohio moving forward,” said OAR President Thomas J. Williams. “Attaining 20 straight months of gains in activity – our longest stretch of uninterrupted sales growth since we began collecting data in 1998 – is tremendous testament to the desire among our fellow Ohioans to make the American Dream of homeownership a reality.

“Buyers are taking advantage of the ideal conditions prevalent in today’s marketplace, with historic low interest rates and attractive pricing,” Williams added. “Additionally, there’s a renewed sense – despite the economic ebbs and flows – that housing remains a wise long-term investment.”

Sales through the first two months of 2013 reached 14,624, a 14.3 percent increase from the 12,794 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through February) this year is $122,748, a 6.1 percent increase from the $115,694 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume this year is nearly $1.8 billion, a 21.3 percent increase from the two-month mark of a year ago of nearly $1.5 billion.

“The ongoing recovery of the Ohio housing market is widespread…with 17 of the 20 markets we track showing gains in activity so far in 2013 and our prices rising in 15 of our reporting areas,” Williams added. “Having so many of our individual markets record positives in a state as diverse as Ohio – with its unique blend of big urban markets and smaller, rural locales – is an indication that the Buckeye State is making significant headway in its recovery effort.”

Williams noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry remains upbeat about the market’s outlook in the coming months. The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a survey that tracks the perception Ohio realtors have of the marketplace, offers the following highlights in the March 2013 report:

93 percent of realtors describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a significant increase from the 77 percent mark the profession posted during the month a year ago. This month’s Realtor Current Market Index measurement reached a record-high 62, an 18-point improvement from the March 2012 score of 44.

94 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; increasing 9 percentage points from the March 2012 level of 85 percent. This month’s REALTOR Future Market Index reached record-high 67, a 14-point increase from the March 2012 index of 53.

97 percent of realtors believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; 15 percentage points more than the findings in March 2012 (of 82 percent). The Realtor Price Index for realtors’ expectations for the next year reached a record-high 74, a 20-point improvement from the mark recorded during the month a year ago (54).

“Realtors are a reflection of how people buying and selling homes feel about the market’s current and long-term prospects,” Williams said. “When we launched our Confidence Index in mid-2011 – when the overall market was still in the midst of the economic struggles resulting from the onset of the recession a few years prior – the industry was far from optimistic about market conditions.

“We’ve seen a steady, cautious uptick in our overall outlook – rising from our initial Index scores in the 20’s and 30’s to the record-high levels we’re now achieving,” he added. “Realtors are hopeful, but also seem to have a firm understanding that there will be challenges in the months ahead.”

Sales in February reached 7,363, a 10.2 percent increase from the 6,681 sales posted during the month in 2012. The average sales price of $125,061 was a 7.9 percent increase from the $115,932 average price posted in February 2012.

Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops. The Ohio Association of Realtors, with more than 26,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

To view a market-by-market analysis of sales activity throughout Ohio and local contact information, click on the following link:

POSTED: 03/22/13 at 5:38 am. FILED UNDER: Real Estate