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Home sales continue to improve

COLUMBUS – Home sales activity throughout Ohio increased 23.1 percent in October, helping the marketplace record its 16th consecutive monthly sales gain, according to the statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Services.

Sales of new and existing homes have posted a 13.1 percent increase during the first 10 months of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, reaching 94,733 sales versus the 2011 mark of 83,728.

“It’s become increasingly evident that the Ohio housing market is making significant progress in its recovery from the economic downturn – achieving increased sales activity for 16th consecutive month and seeing a steady uptick in the average sales price,” said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

The current stretch of 16 straight monthly gains is the longest uninterrupted period of sales growth the Ohio market has ever recorded.

“Ohio REALTORS continue to be extremely confident about the prospects for our market – as interest rates remain at historic lows, prices have begun to trend upward, inventories are declining, sellers are increasingly realistic in their pricing expectations and consumers understand that long-term, owning a home is a tremendous investment,” he said.

Not only have sales levels during the first 10 months exceeded the pace of a year ago, the average sales price (January through October) throughout Ohio this year is up 4.8 percent, reaching $135,435 versus the 2011 mark of $128,954.

Total dollar volume this year is $12.8 billion, an 18.8 percent increase from last year’s 10-month mark of nearly $10.8 billion.

The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a recently created measurement of the perception Ohio REALTORS have of the marketplace, offers the following highlights of the November 2012 report:

• 78 percent of REALTORS describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a significant increase from the 53 percent mark the profession posted during the month a year ago.

• 75 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; increasing 23 percentage points from the November 2011 level of 52 percent.

• 86 percent of REALTORS believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; 7 percentage points more than the findings in November 2011 (of 79 percent).

Sales in October reached 10,131, a 23.1 percent increase from the 8,230 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The month’s average sales price of $133,800 is an 8.0 percent increase from the October 2011 mark of $123,148.

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