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Published: Tuesday, 10/3/2006

Census shows lag in growth in Toledo home values

BY MARY-BETH McLAUGHLIN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

The median housing value in Toledo and Ohio as a whole rose 14 percent from 2000 to 2005, according to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

But those gains were less than half the percentage increase nationwide.

The Toledo's median value - the point at which half are above and half are below - of owner-occupied homes was $94,800 last year, up from an inflation-adjusted 2000 figure of $83,500.

Nationwide, the 2005 median was up 32 percent to $167,500 from $126,700 in 2000.

"Just about anyone who owns a home or has been in the market for one in the past few years knows firsthand how home values jumped from 2000 to 2005," said Louis Kincannon, director of the Census Bureau.

The highest median values in the study were in Newport Beach and Santa Barbara, both in California, at $1 million or more.

Kevin Smith, vice president and broker with Welles-Bowen Realtors in Toledo, said he doesn't pay as much attention to median selling prices as he does to average ones, but "Positive numbers on appreciation are always good."

Michigan's statewide median housing value last year was $149,300, up 19 percent from $125,000 in 2000.

Lynn Fruth, chief executive officer of The Danberry Co. Realtors in Toledo, noted that the Toledo area never sees the highs - nor the lows - that communities on the west and east coasts do.

Among the biggest gains in the Census report was 127 percent in San Diego, from $249,000 in 2000 to $567,000 last year; 110 percent in Los Angeles; and 79 percent in New York.

Of the Ohio cities in the Census survey, Columbus had the highest median value in 2005 at $132,100, up 18 percent from $112,300 in 2005. The city with the largest percentage increase was Cleveland, 39 percent, to $86,900 from $62,700 in 2000.

In Michigan, Detroit had a 24 percent increase, to $88,300, and Ann Arbor an 18 percent gain, to $238,000.

The estimates in the Census report are based on annual, nationwide household samples of about 250,000 addresses per month. More than two-thirds of the nation's total occupied housing units were owner-occupied in 2005.

Contact Mary-Beth McLaughlin at

mmclaughlin@theblade.com

or 419-724-6199.



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