Home sales increase 8% in Ohio

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Homes sales in Ohio rose 8 percent in October with the housing market posting year-over-year gains for the 28th consecutive month, the Ohio Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

October sales totaled 11,076 units, up from 10,257 sales in the same month a year ago. The sales total was best for an October since 2006. Average sales price was $137,039, up 2.3 percent from a year ago when the average was $133,914.

“The Ohio housing market is continuing to maintain a modest, steady pace in terms of its overall level of sales and pricing growth,” association President Thomas J. Williams said in a statement. “While our string of consecutive monthly gains has been instrumental in our effort to rebuild an important sector of our economy, it appears that we’re entering into a more traditional housing marketplace ... one that stabilizes and experiences ebbs and flows in overall activity.”

Sales through the first 10 months of 2013 totaled 110,674, a 16.7 percent increase from the 94,871 sales in the same period a year ago. The average sales price in that 10-month period was $142,820, up 5.4 percent a year ago.

Total dollar volume this year exceeded $15.8 billion, a 23 percent increase from the 10-month mark a year ago of nearly $13 billion.

Nationally, fewer Americans bought existing homes in October, as higher mortgage rates, the 16-day partial government shutdown, and a limited supply of houses on the market reduced sales, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

The NAR said that home re-sales fell 3.2 percent last month from September to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.12 million. That’s down from a 5.29 million pace in September and the slowest since June. A healthy pace is around 5.5 million.

Sales of single family homes fell 4.1 percent, while condominium sales rose 3.3 percent nationally.

The median sales price of an existing home was $199,500 in October, up 12.8 percent from a year earlier and the 11th straight month of double-digit annual increases.

The 16-day partial government shutdown pinched home sales last month by creating uncertainty about the economy and slowing loan approvals: 13 percent of real-estate agents reported that transactions had been delayed.

“The uncertainty created by the government shutdown and debt ceiling battle in October left Americans more worried about the economy than they have been all year,” Ellen Haberle, economist at online real estate-broker Redfin, said. “It is no surprise that many buyers put their home-buying plans on hold that month.”