WARREN - Trumbull County home sales increased more than 11 percent last month over August 2011, the 14th straight month with a sales gain, statistics show.
According to Trumbull County numbers, buyers closed on 168 homes in August with an average selling price of $72,000. This time last year, buyers closed on 151 homes with an average selling price of $56,199.
Warren Area Board of Realtors president Yvonne Smith said with the prices of homes coming up, she believes the market is starting to tilt more in favor of the seller.
She believes new workers in the automotive and oil and gas industry have begun to deplete the supply of rentals on the market.
''That has made the rental market tighter, and people are looking to buy houses,'' Smith said, adding that low interest rates also are helping to drive purchases.
''I have a very positive outlook for the future,'' Smith said, noting that she also saw the number of Realtors double this month. ''That makes me feel that people have a lot more optimism about our market.''
In Mahoning County, 215 homes were sold in August, up 29 percent from August 2011, when just 167 homes were sold. The average selling price also was up from $63,000 to $77,500 in Mahoning County.
Statewide, home sales activity increased 12.7 percent in August. Sales of new and existing homes posted a 12.9 percent increase during the first eight months of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago.
''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,'' said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors.
Total dollar volume statewide this year is $10.2 billion, an 18 percent increase from last year's eight-month mark of $8.6 billion.