2013-03-02 / News

Ohio real estate activity starts 2013 strong

COLUMBUS – Activity in the Ohio housing market has had a robust start to the year, with the number of homes sold reaching the third-highest total ever in January and the statewide average sales price continuing to tick upward, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

Home sales in January reached 7,254, an 18.7 percent increase from the 6,113 sales posted during the same period a year ago. Since OAR began tracking statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Service in 1998, only the month’s totals in 2007 (7,853 sales) and 2006 (7,441 sales) bested the January 2013 activity level.

“The Ohio housing market is continuing to make significant progress in its attempt to recover from the economic downturn of a few years ago,” said Thomas J. Williams, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “It’s apparent that people want to take advantage of the ideal conditions that exist in today’s marketplace, with historic low interest rates and favorable pricing.”

The month’s average sales price reached $120,437, a 4.3 percent increase from the $115,434 result of January 2012. Total dollar volume in January nearly reached $874 million, a 23.8 percent increase from the $706 million mark a year ago.

The Buckeye State’s January sales total marks the 19th consecutive monthly sales gain for the marketplace, dating back to July 2011.

“The fact that we’ve now attained an unprecedented 19 straight months of gains in activity levels in Ohio is a positive indication that we’re making progress in establishing a foundation for a sustainable housing market moving forward,” Williams said. “REALTORS understand that there will be economic challenges in the months and year ahead, that the housing market will experience ebbs and flows... but that long-term people understand that home ownership is a wise investment.”

Williams noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry remains cautiously optimistic about the market’s outlook in the coming months. The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a survey that tracks the perception Ohio REALTORS have of the marketplace, offers the following highlights in the February 2013 report:

• 87 percent of REALTORS describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a significant increase from the 66 percent mark the profession posted during the month a year ago. This month’s REALTOR Current Market Index measurement reached 53, an 18 point improvement from the February 2012 score of 35.

• 92 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; increasing 12 percentage points from the February 2012 level of 80 percent. This month’s REALTOR Future Market Index reached recordhigh 64, a 19 point increase from the February 2012 index of 45.

• 96 percent of REALTORS believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; 19 percentage points more than the findings in February 2012 (of 77 percent). The REALTOR Price Index for REALTORS’ expectations for the next year tied a record-high 70, a 20 point improvement from the mark recorded during the month a year ago (50).

“It’s becoming increasingly evident that Ohio’s real estate professionals are confident that the desire to make the American Dream of homeownership remains strong throughout Ohio,” Williams said.

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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