2009-12-12 / News

Home sales activity improves over October 2008

COLUMBUS – For the first time in 14 months, home sales activity throughout Ohio increased in October over the sales mark from a year ago, reports the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

“It’s been a challenging marketplace for quite some time...so finally having home sales activity in Ohio post positive results is great news for the industry and all home owners,” said OAR President Jonathan M. Hall. “There are a number of factors that played a role in the results, including an influx of first-time buyers looking to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit that was due to expire at the end of November.

“Fortunately, our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. not only extended that deadline but they also expanded its reach to allow current homeowners to be eligible for a $6,500 tax credit. The positives of the tax credit have been significant and helped to stimulate an important sector of the economy at a time when the real estate market really needed a boost,” Hall added.

A recent finding revealed that upwards of 43 percent of all buyers this year will be eligible to take advantage of the first-time home buyer tax credit. “The tax credit has worked in stimulating the housing market as homebuyers are using it, sales and prices have stabilized and it’s helped to move the economy forward,” Halls said.

Specifically, 14 markets in Ohio posted positive sales marks in October...many posting double digit increases. Those markets include: Ashland (up 51.4 percent); Athens (11.1 percent); Cincinnati (15 percent); Columbus (25.1 percent); Dayton (12.8 percent); Firelands (33.3 percent); Heartland (31.7 percent); Knox (42.9 percent); Lancaster (25 percent); and Licking (7.4 percent).

Equally important, 11 markets experienced a jump in the average sales price in October (compared to the same period a year ago), which helped push the month’s price mark to a positive level statewide. They include: Ashland, Athens, Dayton, Firelands, Lancaster, Mansfield, Marion, Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange, Toledo, Wayne Holmes and West Central. “With favorable pricing, attractive interest rates and sellers more realistic in their pricing expectations market conditions are ideal,” Hall said. “In addition the extension and expansion of the widely-popular home buyer tax credit through next April should continue to keep the momentum going and allow housing to play a key role in the overall economic recovery.”

Statewide sales of new and existing homes during the first 10 months of the year (January through October) total 86,692, 11.5 percent behind the 97,909 sales posted during the period a year ago.

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