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Study finds metro Toledo lags in home price gains


A cluster of for-sale signs marks the entrance to a street in west Toledo.

King / Blade Enlarge

Price increases for homes in metro Toledo's lukewarm real estate market continue to lag those of most other big cities in Ohio, according to a report released yesterday.

The median price of a single-family home in greater Toledo rose 1.6 percent to $118,600 from the second quarter of 2004 and the same period this year, the National Association of Realtors reported. The price was unchanged from the first quarter. The median is the point at which half the sales are for less and half are for more.

That rate of increase for existing homes was bested by Cleveland (3.9 percent), Columbus (3.7 percent), and Akron (3.3 percent). Performing worse than Toledo were Cincinnati, with a 0.7 percent gain, and Dayton, which lost 0.3 percent. Even so, Toledo prices don't match those two cities; the median price in Cincinnati in the second quarter was $148,500 and in Dayton was $119,400. The highest median price in Ohio was in Columbus, at $155,900.

Nina Blankenburg, who is trying to sell a house on Plumbrook Drive in Toledo, recently cut the price to $230,000 from $255,000. She blamed a weak real estate market, and said the price cut was her third.

"It's definitely a buyer's market," said agent Joseph DiSalle, of DiSalle Real Estate Co. "There is an oversupply of inventory. Houses are selling but it's taking a little longer." Homes were on the market in the Toledo area an average of 82 days in the second quarter, which was five more days than during the same period in 2004, according to figures from the Toledo Board of Realtors. The figures apply only to existing homes and don't include condominiums and multi-family units.

The real estate group found that U.S. home prices surged in the second quarter at the fastest pace in more than a quarter of a century as a decline in interest rates fueled record sales. The median price of an existing single-family home nationwide rose 13.6 percent to $208,500 from a year earlier. The jump was the biggest since a 15.3 percent gain in the third quarter of 1979.

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