Home sales across northwest Ohio rose to their highest levels in years in June, showing strength in large part thanks to low interest rates and an expiring tax credit that offered thousands of dollars to those seeking to own their home.
The news from the Toledo Board of Realtors bolstered a separate report that showed a second straight monthly decrease in the proportion of local homeowners delinquent on their mortgages by 90 days. The second report, from CoreLogic, a California real estate data tracking firm, also showed a fourth consecutive month where local foreclosures did not increase.
The Toledo Board of Realtors said Wednesday that 716 houses were sold in several northwest Ohio counties in June, up 10 percent from the 644 homes sold during the same month a year ago, and 2 percent higher than the 702 sold in May.
The average home-sales price also rose to $118,465, up 4 percent from $113,892 a year ago and up 7 percent from $110,352 in May.
In Lucas County alone, sales increased to 433 last month, from 401 the month before and 400 a year ago, and the sales price jumped to $114,277 from $101,798 the month before and $109,347 in June, 2009, the report shows.
"I do think things are getting better," said Dave Browning of Welles-Bowen Realty. "I don't know if that's because the consumer is starting to get a little more comfortable with [the economy], or people thinking, 'Gee, this is how it's going to be for the next four or five years,' and have decided to get on with their lives."
CoreLogic's report shows the amount of mortgages with payments 90 days or more late in metro Toledo was 7.23 percent in May, down from 7.38 percent in April but higher than the 6.18 percent in May, 2009. The figure is higher than Ohio's 7.14 percent and the United States' 8.22 percent figures in May.
The percentage of local mortgages entering foreclosure, CoreLogic found, was 2.96 percent in May, down from 2.98 percent in April but higher than the 2.61 percent in May, 2009.
Richard DeKaser, of Woodley Park Research in Washington and formerly the chief economist for National City Bank, said Wednesday, "The good news is that Ohio never saw the overoptimistic building that many other parts of the country saw earlier in the decade, so Ohio never saw the overhang that other regions of the country had."
Contact Larry P. Vellequette at: