Local home sales dip

WARREN – Home buyers closed on fewer Trumbull and Mahoning County homes last month, but they were spending more for the homes they bought, according to local real estate statistics.

In fact, median purchase prices in both Trumbull and Mahoning counties reached their highest points in more than three years.

Trumbull County home sales dipped almost 9 percent in August, compared to August 2012, according to statistics reported by the Warren Area Board of Realtors. Likewise, home buyers in Mahoning County closed on 3 percent fewer homes in August than they did a year ago, according to data from the Youngstown / Columbiana Association of Realtors.

Median sale price for home sales in both counties increased significantly, up 14 percent in Trumbull County and up 9 percent in Mahoning County.

Specifically, home buyers in Trumbull County closed on 160 homes in August, compared to 175 in August 2012. The market overview showed, however, that median sales price climbed to $86,500, up 14 percent from $75,750 median in August 2012, and the highest since at least August 2010. Mahoning County buyers paid a median average of $84,000, up 9 percent since August 2012, when the median average was listed at $77,000, and also the highest since at least August 2010.

Mahoning County home buyers closed on 212 homes last month, down from 219 this time last year.

Homes also were remaining on the market for shorter periods before selling, especially in Trumbull County. Statistics show in August, Trumbull homes sold in an average of 100 days, down 30 percent from the 142-day average this time last year, and the quickest turn-around in at least three years.

Homes in Mahoning County sold in an average of 107 days, also down about 13 percent from an average of 124 days in August 2012.

While inventory of available homes for sale remained low, an ongoing challenge for area realtors and home buyers, it did show an upward trend over the past four to six months in both counties.

Statewide, the Ohio Association of Realtors was reporting large increases in sales last month. On average, realtors were reporting an increase of 16.9 percent in August home sales, the 26th consecutive month Ohio posted year-over-year gains in activity.

“The Ohio housing market, with each passing month, continues to build a solid foundation for a sustainable and growing marketplace,” said OAR President Thomas J. Williams of Howland. “Attaining an unprecedented 26 straight months of year-over-year gains in sales activity, our longest stretch of uninterrupted growth in 16 years of tracking Ohio home sales, is a clear indicator of robust consumer confidence and a renewed appreciation that, long-term, housing is a sound investment.”

Statewide sales through the first eight months of 2013 reached 88,268, a 17.5 percent increase from the 75,134 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through August) this year is $143,786, a 6.1 percent increase from the $135,465 mark set during the period a year ago.

Total dollar volume this year is nearly $12.7 billion, a 24.7 percent increase from the eight-month mark of a year ago of nearly $10.2 billion.

Sales in August reached 13,545, a 16.9 percent increase from the 11,583 sales posted during a year ago. The August 2013 sales total is the month’s best mark since 2006. The average sales price of $149,963 is a 3.4 percent increase from the $145,093 average price posted in August 2012.