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Ohio home sales activity continued to decline in February

COLUMBUS – Ohio home sales activity continued to slide in February, as anxious buyers remained on the sideline due to the economic downturn affecting the country, reports the Ohio Association of REALTORS ®.

“It’s become apparent that the difficult economic conditions are having an adverse affect on the housing market in Ohio and throughout the nation,” said OAR President Jonathan M. Hall. “Despite this, we remain hopeful that the sluggish start to 2009 will give way to a more robust market in the coming months once some of the actions taken in Washington, D.C. and Columbus begin to take hold.

“In fact…conditions are perfect for the real estate market to regroup in the coming months, especially considering that interest rates are at 50-year lows, favorable pricing can be found throughout Ohio and home sellers are being more realistic in their expectations,” Hall added.

“Combine those key variables with the passage of the non-repayable, $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that was contained in the Economic Stimulus Bill and there’s a glimmer of optimism that we’ll begin to solidify the important first rung of the housing ladder.”

Statewide sales of new and existing homes and condominiums during the first two months of the year (January and February) total 11,476, 20.1 percent behind the 14,363 sales posted during the period a year ago.

The state’s average sale price (January and February) of $107,389 marks a 17.9 percent decrease from the $130,730 average price posted during the period a year ago. The total dollar volume reached $1.2 billion, a 34.4 percent decrease from the $1.9 billion posted in 2008.

Sales in February reached 6,038, which marks a 22.9 percent decline from the 7,831 sales posted during the month a year ago. Total dollar volume for the month was $650 million, 37.3 percent behind the February 2008 mark of $1 billion. The state’s average sales price in February was $107,691, an 18.7 percent decrease from the $132,517 sales price during the month last year.

The 31,000-member Ohio Association of REALTORS ®, the largest professional trade organization in the state, calculates its home sale figures based on statistics provided by the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) throughout Ohio.

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