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Area home sales improving, but real estate agents want inventory

Lucas, Wood counties have 11% gain from year ago

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The average number of days it took a house to sell in August was 100, down from 119 a year ago. Brad Crown, president of the Toledo Board of Realtors, said reasonably priced homes that are well-maintained won’t last even that long.

THE BLADE
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Area home sales have been good, but they could be even better if more houses were available, the president of the Toledo Board of Realtors said Wednesday.

Home sales in Lucas County and northern Wood County totaled 491 in August, up 11 percent over August, 2012, according to data released Wednesday by the Realtors group.

The average sales price was up 17 percent to $129,321.

“A lot of it has to do with a shortage of inventory,” said Brad Crown, the president of the local Realtors group and an agent for the Re/​Max Central Group in Sylvania Township. “Supply is down, so demand is up.”

The Realtors’ data show an 8.4-month supply of inventory on the market — down from a 10-month supply at the same time last year.

The average number of days it took a house to sell was 100, down from 119 a year ago.

But reasonably priced homes that are well-maintained don’t last nearly that long. “The good stuff sells quickly,” Mr. Crown said. “The stuff that stays on the market is less desirable or overpriced.”

He gave an example of a Sylvania home in the $200,000 range that recently sold for the second time in a year. The second time, it took only two days to get a full-price offer that was $7,000 more than what it sold for in 2012.

“It has become a lot harder to find a nice house,” Mr. Crown said.

Good news for homeowners who are thinking about selling is that the average price per square foot last month was $65, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

Part of the reduced inventory may be because of foreclosures.

In the 2009-11 period, Mr. Crown said, about 25 percent of homes on the market were foreclosures or short sales. That has dropped to about 10 percent.

For the first eight months of the year, sales in Lucas and northern Wood counties are up 7 percent, and the average sales price is up 10 percent.

“Last year was our best year in several years, and this year seems to be following on the heels of it,” Mr. Crown said.

Contact Chip Towns at: ctowns@theblade.com or 419-724-6194.

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