2011-09-24 / News

Housing market surged in August

COLUMBUS - The Ohio housing market continued to surge in August, with sales activity posting a nearly 22 percent gain 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 August for the second consecutive month...a hopeful sign of an improving marketplace,” said OAR President Meg Hudson. “This marks the first back_ to_ back monthly gains in sales activity since May and June a year ago. Our market continues making strides toward fully regaining its footing and overcoming the challenges that have beset the sector since the onset of the recession in 2008.”

Sales in August 2011 reached 10,094, marking a 21.8 percent increase from the 8,288 sales posted during the month a year ago. The month’s average sale price posted a 1.6 percent decline to $138,304, compared to the $140,617 mark of August 2010. The total dollar volume during the month nearly reached $1.4 billion, a 19.8 percent jump from the nearly $1.2 billion posted a year ago.

Hudson noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry is cautiously optimistic about the market’s outlook in the coming months. The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a recently created measurement of the perception Ohio REALTORS(r) have of the marketplace, offers the following findings:

• 47 percent of REALTORS(r) describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a 7 percent drop from the perception of professionals a month earlier.

• 45 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; 7 percent lower than the level reported in July.

• 58 percent of REALTORS(r) believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; a 4 percent increase from the mark from the prior month.

“ The economic downturn really shook the foundation of the Ohio housing marketplace, yet the state’s REALTORS(r) remain optimistic and hopeful of improving conditions as we move forward,” Hudson said. “While we have a long way to go before we fully return to our traditional sales level, there are many positives that abound for would_ be buyers.”

Sales during the first eight months of 2011 reached 65,471, a 6.1 percent decrease from the 69,719 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through August) this year is $129,878, a 3.3 percent decrease from the $134,310 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume to date is more than $8.5 billion, a 9.2 percent decrease from the nearly $9.4 billion mark set during the eight 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 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.”

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(r), with more than 27,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

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