2012-03-24 / News

Real estate sales show year-to-year improvement

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 February posting gains of more than 19 percent from the mark set during the month a year ago, according to statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Services.

“Our market has now posted eight consecutive monthly sales gains, dating back to July 2011,” said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS(r). “We’re extremely 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 through the first two months of 2012 reached 12,670, a 16.5 percent increase from the 10,872 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through February) this year is $115,750, a negligible 0.8 percent decline from the $116,722 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume this year is nearly $1.5 billion, a 15.6 percent increase from the two_ month mark of a year ago of nearly $1.3 billion.

Miller noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry remains extremely 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 March 2012 report:

• 77 percent of REALTORS(r) describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; an 11 percent jump from the perception of professionals a month earlier.

• 85 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.

• 82 percent of REALTORS(r) believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; a 5 percent increase from the prior month.

“One thing is clear, Ohio’s real estate professionals are certain that the desire to achieve the American Dream of homeownership remains strong throughout Ohio,” Miller said. “The difficult challenges we’ve faced since the economic collapse of 2008 have certainly not completely dissipated, but it’s apparent that the industry is encouraged that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.”

Sales in February reached 6,608, a 19.3 percent increase from the 5,537 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The month’s average sales price of $116,196 nearly mirrors the $117,786 result of February 2011.

Total dollar volume in February nearly reached $768 million, a 17.7 percent increase from the $652 million mark posted a year ago.

Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co_ ops.

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