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Published: Friday, 8/15/2008

Prices off 5.2% for homes in Toledo area


Selling prices for northwest Ohio houses dropped 5.2 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, but that was not as much as the national average, a new study has found.

The local price, $104,100, is in line with those in 115 other metro areas in the nation where prices declined, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"Every homeowner has felt it but I think we've seen the worst of it," said real estate agent Jon Modene, of Re/Max Masters in Perrysburg. "The worst is over."

Nationally, the median home selling price for the second quarter dropped 7.6 percent, to $206,500, the trade group said. Thirty-five of 150 metro areas showed gains in prices, the group said.

In northwest Ohio, the median price was up 16 percent over first-quarter figures, but one real estate expert cautioned not to read too much into that because winter sales are fewer and numbers often are skewed.

Sales rose in 13 states, the trade group said, but that was from buyers responding to discounted home prices.

Recent sales figures for Lucas and Wood counties showed prices had flattened, which Mr. Modene said was good news.

"It looks like the trend has probably bottomed out," he said. "You can't say our market has turned around. On the street it hasn't turned at all. There's too many houses and not enough buyers still."

A few metro areas in Ohio fared better than Toledo, according to Realtors figures. Dayton prices dropped 2.8 percent to $116,9000 and Cincinnati fell 4.6 percent to $139,500. Elsewhere, Columbus fell 5.32 percent to $145,700; Youngstown dropped 6.5 percent to $71,700; Akron fell 15 percent to $106,500; and Cleveland slumped 17 percent to $117,500.

The national report said home sales dropped 0.8 percent to 4.9 million in the second quarter. They were down 16.3 percent for the year. In Ohio, sales were down 5.4 percent to 230,800 units. Michigan's fell 21.3 percent to 140,800.

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