2009-03-07 / News

Ohio home sales activity dipped in January

COLUMBUS - Ohio home sales activity dipped in January, as anxious buyers continued to remain on the sidelines as a result of the economic downturn affecting the country, reports the Ohio Association of REALTORS ®.

"It's certainly not a huge surprise that would-be home buyers were reticent to purchase at the start of the new year, as uncertainty in the economy was at the top of everyone's mind," said OAR President Jonathan M. Hall.

"Yet despite the sluggish January sales numbers, we're optimistic that better days are not too far away. "With historically low interest rates, favorable pricing and realistic expectations prevalent among the home selling population all of the key variables are in place for the real estate market to stabilize," Hall added. "And the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers contained in the Economic Stimulus Bill should help solidify the important first rung of the housing ladder."

It should be noted that the January home sales activity report does not include results from 15 counties in North/Northeast Ohio - those markets served by the newly established Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange (NEOHREX), a jointlyowned data system of the Northern Ohio Regional MLS and Centralized Real Estate Information Services. NEOHREX was concerned about the accuracy of its sales data during this initial reporting period.

Sales in January reached 3,527, which marks a 21.3 percent decline from the 4,482 sales posted during the month a year ago. Total dollar volume for the month was $407 million, 30.6 percent behind the January 2008 mark of $587 million. The state's average sale price in January was $115,326, an 11.9 percent decrease from the $130,856 sales price during the month last year. It should be noted, however, that the absence of the 15-county NEOHREX data negatively skews the reported average price downward.

The 31,000-member Ohio Association of REALTORS ®, the largest professional trade organization in the state, calculates its home sale figures based on statistics provided by the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) throughout Ohio. Participating MLSes include: Ashland, Athens, Cincinnati, Columbus, Centralized Real Estate Information Services, Dayton, Firelands, Greater Portsmouth, Heartland, Knox, Lancaster, Licking, Mansfield, Marion, Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service, Scioto Valley, Toledo, West Central, Western Regional Information Systems & Technology and Zanesville. Figures include both new and existing home sales, including single-family and condominiums.

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