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Published: Thursday, 4/24/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Toledo-area home prices increase 22% in past year

Median value trails other large Ohio cities

BY CHIP TOWNS
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

The median price of homes sold in metro Toledo in March was 22 percent higher than a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data firm. The median price was $74,950 last month and $61,652 in March, 2013, the company said.

The numbers differ from those reported by Realtors groups because they include properties sold without a real estate agent.

The median sales price for distressed residential properties — those that are actively in the foreclosure process or bank-owned — was $40,000, the same as last March.

The median price for nondistressed properties was $86,500, up 8 percent year-over-year.

Just less than one third of Lucas County sales in the first quarter were of distressed properties, RealtyTrac said. Distressed sales made up 15 percent of Wood County sales and 22 percent of Monroe County sales.

Of the seven largest metro areas in Ohio, Toledo had the lowest median home prices in both “all sales” and “nondistressed sales” categories, slightly lower than Dayton and Youngstown.

Columbus had the highest median prices, followed by Cincinnati and Akron. The average Columbus-area nondistressed property sold for $135,000.

Nationally, 34 percent of all U.S. residential property sales in March were to buyers with a different mailing address than the property address — most likely investors or second home buyers.

Seven percent of all sales in March were multiparcel transactions where multiple properties were sold on the same date and recorded on the same sales deed document.

In Washington on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said sales of new homes declined 14.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000. That was the second straight monthly decline and the lowest rate since July, 2013.

Sales plunged in the Midwest, South, and West in March, but rebounded in the Northeast, where snowstorms in previous months curtailed purchases.

New-home sales have declined 13.3 percent during the past 12 months.

“Our core view is that the housing market has stalled and won’t contribute” to overall economic growth this year, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Rising home prices have caused some buyers to back off at the lower end of the market, while new-home buyers at the top continue to buy.

As a result, median sales prices jumped 12.6 percent during the past month to $290,000.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes edged down 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the past eight months.

Sales have fallen in part because few homes are for sale. There is a 5.2-month supply of existing homes on the market, much less than the 6-month level seen in healthier markets. More construction is needed to boost the supply, the Realtors’ group argues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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



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