2011-09-03 / News

Ohio real estate market improved in July

COLUMBUS - The Ohio housing market heated up in July, with sales activity and average prices posting gains from the period a year earlier, according to statistics provided to the Ohio Association of REALTORS(r) by the state’s Multiple Listing Services.

“Throughout the state, we experienced a significant uptick in activity in July which has buoyed the industry’s outlook for the second half of the year,” said OAR President Meg Hudson. “We’re hopeful that the marketplace is poised to regain its footing and overcome the challenges that have beset the sector since the onset of the recession in 2008.”

Sales in July 2011 reached 9,185, marking a 17.8 percent increase from the 7,796 sales posted during the month a year ago. The month’s average sale price posted a 3.1 percent increase to $140,903, compared to the $136,697 mark of July 2010. The total dollar volume during the month nearly reached $1.3 billion, a 21.4 percent jump from the $1.1 billion posted a year ago.

Hudson noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests improving conditions and outlook in the coming months. The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a newly created measurement of the perception Ohio REALTORS(r) have of the marketplace, offers the following findings:

• 54 percent of REALTORS(r) describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong.

• 52 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months.

• 54 percent of REALTORS(r) believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains (up to 5 percent).

“ The economic downturn really shook the foundation of the Ohio housing marketplace, yet the state’s REALTORS(r) are clearly more optimistic of improving conditions as we move forward,” Hudson said. “While we have a long was to go before we fully return to our traditional sales level, there are many positives.”

Sales during the first seven months of 2011 reached 55,356, a 9.9 percent decrease from the 61,431 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through July) this year is $128,535, a 3.7 percent decrease from the $133,459 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume to date is more than $7.1 billion, a 13.2 percent decrease from the nearly $8.2 billion mark set during the seven month period a year ago.

“Today’s real estate market, perhaps now more than ever before, makes it clear that all real estate is local...with variations in every community and street, and even amongst the various property types,” Hudson noted. “Most importantly, today’s buyers and sellers realize that despite these complexities and nuances, property ownership is a wise, long-term investment.”

“It really is a great time to buy,” Hudson continued. “When you look beyond the headlines and take a closer look at current conditions - interest rates at historic lows, prices displaying signs of FAX: stabilization, sellers that are more realistic in their expectations - you gain a better appreciation that the desire to own a home remains the foundation of the American Dream.”

The 28,000-member Ohio Association of REALTORS(r), 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.

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