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Published: Friday, 12/4/2009

Report: Perrysburg home values up 12.9%

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Forget about Beverly Hills 90210.

The fastest rising home values over a recent 12-month period were in places like Hope Mills, N.C. 28348, Piqua, Ohio 45356, and Perrysburg 43551, according to a Web site.

Values shot up 12.9 percent over the year to a median of $179,070 as of Sept. 30 in Perrysburg, giving the Toledo suburb the 15th-fastest rate of home appreciation in the nation, according to a report for cnbc.com by the real estate web site Zillow.com.

But real estate executives interviewed for this story, while not averse to good news, urged sellers to approach the report with caution.

They say many homes continue to languish unsold in Perrysburg and often fetch lower prices when buyers are found.

Homes sold there in November fetched a median price of $212,950 - $30,000 less than at the same time last year, said Jon

Modene, broker at ReMax Masters agency in Perrysburg.

On a positive note, 27 homes sold, up from 20 in November, 2008.

But other market indicators remain clouded.

"The number of days that homes are on the market is up in Perrysburg," said Mr. Modene. "And there are 100 fewer homes for sale this year than last year."

Owners are putting off moving plans, bank-owners are keeping houses off the market because of the difficult sales environment, and some owners have decided to rent out properties rather than sell, Mr. Modene said.

Officials at Zillow.com say their report is based not only on prices of homes sold but appraised values of those not on the market.

"Our index is looking at the value of all homes in the area regardless if they sold or not," said Stan Humphries, chief economist for the firm.

Zillow, which tracks housing values nationwide, watched prices begin to stabilize over the summer. But the firm worries that values could resume their erosion when mortgage interest rates begin to rise and a new wave of foreclosures hits the market, Mr. Humphries said.

The economist noted that Zillow figures show the value of a median home in metro Toledo overall - meaning half are lower, half are higher - dropped 6.8 percent in the third quarter from the same time in 2008 to $99,200.

Michael Miller, broker at Sulphur Springs Realty in Toledo, questions whether values in Perrysburg have appreciated by 12.9 percent as Zillow contends.

"The higher price ranges have not bounced back," he said. "There is not evidence of appreciable appreciation in the large-home market at all. … In the midmarket, $150,000 to $300,000, we have noticed a much more active market with some reasonable appreciation. But I don't think it would rise to the level of Zillow's figures."

Still, the suburb has grown in popularity in recent years, Mr. Miller said.

The community's well-regarded school system is a draw for young families, he said. And the community lacks a large inventory of midpriced homes.

Among other cities, CNBC and Zillow said the fastest-growing home values in the third quarter were in Fayetteville, N.C. (up 20.6 percent), two neighborhoods in Philadelphia (up 16.9-19.1 percent), and Cleveland (up 16.7 percent.)

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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