Metro Toledo housing prices increase most in Ohio

The metro Toledo housing market had a strong performance in July, finishing first among Ohio’s six top metro areas in housing prices and inventory, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

The July survey of the nation’s 146 top metro areas found Toledo had the 17th highest increase in median home price from the same month last year. It went up nearly 6 percent to $114,900. Median means half the homes are priced above $114,900 and half are priced below it.

The metro area’s list of houses for sale fell to 4,191 in July, or down by 20 percent, which was the 43rd best rate of decrease out of 146 areas. The median number of days a house is on the market before selling dropped 4 percent to 92 days, or the 35th best rate of decrease.

Nationally, the median home price was $189,900, unchanged from a year ago. The total unsold inventory was 2.3 million, down 18 percent, and the median days a home was for sale was 97, down 2 percent.

Among the six largest Ohio metro areas, the Toledo area market had the best showing.

Median home price rose 3.7 percent in Dayton and less than a tenth of a percent in Columbus, and was unchanged in Akron. It decreased a tenth of a percent in Cincinnati and 5 percent in Cleveland.

In number of homes for sale, Dayton decreased 18 percent, Cincinnati 15 percent, Cleveland 10 percent, Columbus 9 percent, and Akron 7 percent.

In median days on the market, Akron dropped 2 percent to 97 days; Cincinnati and Dayton were unchanged at 96 and 100 days, respectively; Columbus increased 1 percent to 99 days; and Cleveland rose 5 percent to 103 days.

Ed Sitter, president of the Toledo Board of Realtors, and a real estate agent for Danberry Co., said the numbers demonstrate what local real estate agents have reported this year.

"I’ve been telling people … for months that we really are seeing, anecdotally, a lot of positive signs in the marketplace," he said.

In the first half of the year, the comparisons with last year were generally down because last year a federal home-buying stimulus credit helped boost sales. By July last year, the credits were gone. "So we said let’s wait and we’ll know what we really looked like once we get into July. Well, July has proved to be a dramatic improvement in our numbers," he added.

Mr. Sitter said market improvement is slow, but has been manifesting itself in small ways. Some agents have reported receiving multiple offers for homes that are not bank repossessions.

Dave Browning, co-owner of Toledo’s Welles-Bowen Real Estate Co., said, "As an optimist I would love to believe that these are good numbers. However, I must couch that by saying that this could also be every bit as much about just how badly we did last year."

He added, "We’re still down 7 to 10 percent from last year. I am hoping we will make that up in the third quarter."

Nationally, only 30 markets had a decline in the median priced home, and Fort Myers, Fla. had the largest increase at 32 percent.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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