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Published: Tuesday, 11/20/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Home prices in Toledo area up 15.2% in Oct.

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

Home prices in the Toledo area jumped 15.2 percent in October compared to the same month a year before, the Ohio Association of Realtors said Monday.

The average price for a home last month was $112,829, up from $97,913 a year earlier.

A total of 642 units sold in October, up 6.8 percent from October, 2011.

Home sales nationwide have improved as the job market has slowly improved and mortgage rates remain near record lows.

Home sales activity throughout Ohio increased 23.1 percent in October, the 16th consecutive monthly sales gain, according to the statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Services. Prices were up 8 percent.

“It’s become increasingly evident that the Ohio housing market is making significant progress in its recovery from the economic downturn — achieving increased sales activity for the 16th consecutive month and seeing a steady uptick in the average sales price,” said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Mr. Miller noted that the association began tracking sales data in 1998 and the current stretch of 16 straight monthly gains is the longest uninterrupted period of sales growth the Ohio market has ever recorded.

For the first 10 months of the year in Toledo, sales are up 9.2 percent and home prices are up 3.7 percent. Statewide, sales are 13 percent ahead of last year's pace, with prices up about 5 percent.

The Ohio figures include new and existing homes.

Nationwide, sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October. The National Association of Realtors said sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million. That's up from 4.69 million in September, which was revised lower.

The sales pace is roughly 11 percent higher than a year ago. But it remains below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.

As the economy slowly recovers, more people have started looking to buy homes or rent apartments. Prices are steadily climbing, while mortgage rates have been low all year. At the same time, rents are rising, making the purchase of a single-family home or condominium more attractive.

“Altogether, the report is encouraging,” said Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital. “Our view is that housing is in a recovery phase,” he added, though it will be restrained by limited credit and modest job gains.



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