Home sales in Toledo and in a 10-county area of northwest Ohio rose 22 percent in October, continuing a local surge in sales that began in July, according to new figures from the Toledo Board of Realtors.
The new figures also marked the first time since February that the year-to-date sales exceeded last year’s numbers for the region.
Barbara Stout, president-elect of the Toledo Board of Realtors, said October sales were very strong, a somewhat surprising but pleasant development.
“I’ve had a great fall,” she said. “You would think that the office wouldn’t be busy now, but I’ve had a great month in October and November is looking pretty good too.”
Sales in Lucas, Wood, Fulton, Ottawa, and six other counties were 565 last month, up from 465 a year ago, and were at 5,348 for the first 10 months of the year, compared with 5,280 for the period last year, the board’s report shows. The average sales price was $96,549 last month, up from $95,859 for October, 2010, but the average price so far this year is $101,917, down 2 percent from last year.
Home sales in Toledo rose 33 percent in July, 37 percent in August, and 31 percent in September from the same month the year before. Traditionally, home sales slow significantly after September because buyers want to be settled into their new homes by then and have their children set in school.
Sales in Toledo in October totaled 355 units, up from 290 for the same month a year ago. Toledo home prices averaged $96,096 in October, down 2 percent from $97,612 a year earlier.
Overall in Toledo, 3,238 homes have been sold this year, up 1 percent over 2010.
Ms. Stout, an agent with Danberry Co., attributed the continued strong sales of homes in northwest Ohio to historically low interest rates as well as to buyers feeling more secure in their jobs and their ability to sell their existing homes in order to move up.
“I think the market is straightening out a little bit. I’ve had several people who are selling their first home, and they haven’t gotten what they liked, but the price they got on the second home was so low it made up for that,” she said. “And then they got a good interest rate on top of that, so it just made sense for them to buy.”
For example, she said, one client recently had to bring $5,000 to a deal to help a buyer purchase his home. But then the client bought a bigger home and paid $31,000 below the previous sales price and got an interest rate of 4.125 percent.
“With the interest at historic lows there’s never been a better time to buy, and I think people are seeing that right now,” she added.