January real estate sales up 12.9 percent from a year ago
COLUMBUS – The Ohio housing market continues to display signs of recovering from the economic challenges that have confronted the nation since the onset of the economic downturn in mid-2008, with sales activity in January posting gains of nearly 13 percent from the mark of a year earlier, according to statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Services.
“Our market has now posted seven consecutive monthly sales gains, dating back to July 2011,” said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS(r). “We’re hopeful that the housing sector will continue to make progress throughout 2012 and build upon the solid foundation that has been established in recent months.
“We remain confident about the Ohio marketplace - as interest rates remain at historic low levels, prices have begun to stabilize, sellers are realistic in their expectations and consumers understand that long_ term, owning a home is a tremendous investment.”
Sales in January reached 6,022, a 12.9 percent increase from the 5,335 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The month’s average sales price of $115,396 nearly mirrors the $115,616 result of January 2011.
Total dollar volume in January nearly reached $695 million, a 12.7 percent increase from the nearly $617 million mark a year ago.
Miller noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry remains 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 highlights in the February 2012 report:
• 66 percent of REALTORS(r) describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a 6 percent jump from the perception of professionals a month earlier.
• 80 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; a 5 percent increase from the prior month.
• 77 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 prior month.
“One thing is clear, Ohio’s real estate professionals are certain that the desire to make the American Dream of homeownership remains strong throughout Ohio,” Miller said.
Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/coops.