July homes sales in Ohio set record


Ohio recorded its best-ever July for home sales last month with more than 152,000 homes sold statewide, according to new data from the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Homes sold totaled 152,091 units, an increase of 2.6 percent from July, 2017, when there were 148,247 units sold. Previously, the record for July sales was set in 2015 when 148,650 homes were sold.

Homes sold in July in Ohio totaled 152,091 units, an increase of 2.6 percent from July, 2017.
Homes sold in July in Ohio totaled 152,091 units, an increase of 2.6 percent from July, 2017.

Additionally, the average home in Ohio sold for $191,775, nearly a 6 percent increase from a year ago.

Chris Hall, a Realtor with Danberry Realtors in Oregon and a former president of the state group, said the strong numbers are a combination of several factors, but the prime factor is available employment statewide.

“I’d say probably the No. 1 thing is that the jobs situation is so good. People are working,” he said.

“When things go south, it’s usually because of a lack of work. So if it goes north, like it’s doing, it’s because the jobs situation is at the peak of it now.”

Mr. Hall added that in his 39 years selling real estate “this is the best year I’ve seen. It’s quite a year.“

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state unemployment rate last month was 4.6 percent. That was up slightly from 4.5 percent in June, and since October, 2017, the state rate has been below 5 percent every month — some of the most consistently low numbers since the late 1990s.

The state Realtors group said that in 13 of the 18 markets that it tracks using data from Multiple Listing Services, the average sales price rose last month and 12 markets had higher sales compared to a year ago.

“All around the state it’s the same thing. It’s good news,” Mr. Hall said. “Inventory was a bit of a problem for us and there’s not enough new construction but hopefully that’s changing. There’s some areas [that are] better than others, but we’re doing great here in Toledo.”

There were 588 homes sold in Lucas and upper Wood counties last month, up 1.7 percent from July of last year, according to the Toledo Regional Association of Realtors.

The strong sales helped Ohio counter a disappointing July nationally for home sellers.

U.S. sales of existing homes slipped for the fourth consecutive month, declining 0.7 percent in July to the slowest pace in more than two years, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.34 million, but home sales have fallen 1.5 percent during the past 12 months.

The national Realtors group said the U.S. housing market is being hurt by a widening wealth gap, as inventories of lower-priced homes remain tight. Sales of single-family houses worth more than $500,000 jumped in the past year. But homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 — a level the middle class can afford — have barely budged.

Contact Blade Business Writer Jon Chavez at jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.