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Single-family home sales in metro Toledo rose 7 percent in May, but the median home price dropped 2 percent, according to new figures from the Toledo Board of Realtors.
A total of 530 homes sold last month in Lucas and northern Wood counties, compared with 495 homes sold in May, 2013, the board’s figures showed.
“It’s pretty much what we expected. We’re seeing the kind of growth in the marketplace that the numbers are reflecting,” said Board of Realtors president John Mangas, a broker/partner at ReMax Preferred Associates of Toledo.
“We had such a tough first quarter that it’s nice to see that things are catching up a bit,” he added.
While the total sales were up, the median sales price dipped to $97,000 from $99,000 a year ago. The median means half the homes sold were above $97,000 and half were below.
The average sales prices for homes also dipped to $119,438 from $130,088 a year ago, a decrease of 8 percent.
But even with the prices dipping, the board’s figures showed that home sellers received 96 percent of their original asking price in May. Last year, the figure was 95 percent.
Mr. Mangas said when you combine the three — median price, average price, and percentage of list price received — the picture adds up to smarter home sellers who are pricing their home correctly for the market.
“We are finding more and more of them seeking help to interpret and understand what the dynamics of the marketplace are,” Mr. Mangas said.
Homes also spent less time on the market than a year ago. The average number of days on the market in May was 109, compared with 122 in May, 2013.
The number of new listings hitting the market last month totaled 1,005, up 12 percent from May, 2013, when there were 899 new listings.
Even though the new listings were up, overall inventory in the metro Toledo market decreased. Through May, the local inventory was just 7.4 months’ worth. A year earlier, the figure was 8.1 months’ worth of inventory.
Mr. Mangas said that suggests the presence of more first-time homebuyers, many of whom likely took advantage of a metrowide “Open House” weekend, sponsored by the Board of Realtors, that saw a record 257 open houses being staged on May 17 and 18.
“My gut tells me we’re seeing a bigger percentage of first-time buyers in the marketplace, which may be bringing the prices down a bit,” Mr. Mangas said. “The great thing about Toledo is that it has been a place where you can own more affordably than you can rent.
“If you’re a first-time buyer and you’ve got decent credit and 3 percent to put down, you can own cheaper than you can rent,” he said.
In the 10-county area covered by the Toledo Board of Realtors’ multiple listing service, home sales also were up 7 percent. There were 755 homes sold in May, compared to 704 a year earlier.
The median sales price rose 2 percent to $97,500, up from $95,500 a year ago. However, the average sales price dipped 4 percent to $117,632 from $122,445 in May, 2013.
New listings were up 10 percent to 1,412, while the average days spent on the market fell to 112 days from 123 days a year ago.
Inventory in the 10-county area dropped to a 7.6 month’s supply from 8.4 months.
Contact Jon Chavez at: