July real estate sales show signs of stabilizing
COLUMBUS - Home sales throughout Ohio showed significant signs of stabilization in July, with activity nearly mirroring the level posted during the preceding month, reports the Ohio Association of Realtors.
"Regardless of conditions - albeit good or bad - our market traditionally reaches its peak activity level in June, with sales escalating during the first half of the year and retreating somewhat during the latter part," said OAR President Jonathan M. Hall. "We're thrilled that our July sales are nearly identical to what the market posted in June - a real indicator that perhaps we've reached or at least are approaching the bottom and will begin to see an uptick in activity in the second half of the year." "That's not to say we're out of the woods by any means...however, we're at least seeing a light at the end of the tunnel," Hall added. "It appears that some of the anxious buyers might be returning to the market to take advantage of the favorable conditions that exist, with attractive pricing, affordable interest rates, the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit and realistic expectations among sellers."
July's sales of 10,473 were only 0.39 percent below the June sales total of 10,502. As a comparison, the market posted a 10.1 percent drop during the same month-to-month period in 2007 and a 6.7 percent decline in 2008. Notably, 12 Ohio markets posted positive or unchanged sales marks in July (versus July 2008), including: Ashland (up 8.3 percent), Athens (2 percent), Cincinnati (6.2 percent), Dayton (0.6 percent), Firelands (6.3 percent), Greater Portsmouth (33.3 percent), Licking (3.2 percent), Mansfield (6.7 percent), Scioto Valley (unchanged), Wayne Holmes (23.1 percent), West Central (20.2 percent), and the Western Regional Information Systems (5.8 percent). "Over the course of the past few months our members have been experiencing more phone calls from interested buyers and seeing increased foot traffic at listings," Hall noted.
Statewide sales of new and existing homes during the first seven months of the year (January through July) total 56,869, 15.3 percent behind the 67,126 sales posted during the period a year ago.
The state's average sale price (January through July) of $126,523 marks a 10.3 percent decrease from the $140,994 average price posted during the period a year ago. The total dollar volume reached nearly $7.2 billion, a 24 percent decrease from the nearly $9.5 billion posted in 2008. Sales in July reached 10,473, a 5.4 percent decrease from the 11,072 sales posted during the month a year ago. The month's average price of $141,306 was 6.1 percent below the 2008 mark of $150,433.