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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2011

Home prices climb in metro Toledo area

BLADE STAFF

Home prices in metro Toledo rose 1.6 percent in the third quarter, outpacing the nation as a whole, according to a report Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

Toledo was among just three of Ohio's eight-largest metro areas that showed home price growth in the third quarter.

Overall, the median single-family home price rose in 39 out of 150 metro areas nationwide in the third quarter, according to the trade group. One hundred eleven metro areas showed price declines.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors association, said the residential real estate market is holding fairly even.

"Home sales need to recover first -- only then can prices stabilize. Existing-home sales are little changed from the second quarter but are notably higher than a year ago. The good news is inventory levels have been trending gradually down."

Metro Toledo's median home sales price for the quarter was $80,300, up 1.6 percent from $79,000 a year ago and up 1.4 percent from the second quarter.

By comparison, the national price fell to $169,500, off 4.7 percent from $177,800 in the third quarter of 2010.

The national report measures the median home price, the level at which half the home sale prices were above it and half were below it.

Brad Crown, treasurer for the Toledo Board of Realtors and a real estate agent with Re/Max Central Group in Sylvania Township, said that despite the slight rise in metro Toledo home prices, it feels as though prices are flat or still dropping.

"But, like I've been saying, if we haven't hit bottom, we've got to be close," he said.

"I've been busy lately, but every time I think I'm getting busy and think that [the market] might be sustainable, it doesn't seem to sustain itself."

Last year many people rushed to buy homes to take advantage of an $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers.

In the Realtors report, median home prices in the third quarter rose 13.1 percent to $68,300 in Youngstown and 11.6 percent to $88,700 in Canton.

Prices dropped 0.8 percent to $113,600 in Cleveland, 1.9 percent to $126,800 in Cincinnati, 2 percent to $100,900 in Dayton, 2.7 percent to $131,500 in Columbus, and 11.4 percent to $93,600 in Akron.

The report showed total home sales in Ohio rose just 0.2 percent in the third quarter, compared to a year earlier, but they are up 22.6 percent overall for the year compared to 2010. In Michigan, total home sales rose 7.8 percent in the third quarter, and they are up 17.3 percent for the year.

-- Jon Chavez



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