LIMA — July was another good month for home sales in west central Ohio.
The west central area – which includes Allen, Hardin and Van Wert counties – recorded some of the largest price increases in the state as the average sale price of a home in this region rose 13.6% from July 2018, according to the Ohio Realtors Association.
Homes in the area were selling for an average of $146,441, up from the July 2018 average of $128,863.
The region trailed only Lancaster and Marion, which saw home prices rise nearly 20% in the same period.
“I think the demand, the price increases are the result of more people looking to move into those areas and away from the areas that have traditionally been attracting people,” said Tim Stanford, an agent with Superior Plus Realtors in Lima.
Stanford said mid-priced homes – those ranging from $80,000 to $150,000 – are in high demand with millennials seeking first-time homes and Baby Boomers looking to downsize.
While the west central area recorded a 9.3% increase in the number of homes sold compared to July 2018, home sales in the first seven months of this year are down 7.9% compared to 2018.
New listings were down from last July too, according to West Central Association of Realtors data provided by Stanford, which show 373 new listings in July 2018 compared to 332 new listings last month.
“Not enough properties are for sale,” Stanford said. “This is the other side of the coin from the recession, when we had three times as many houses for sale and couldn’t find buyers. Now we have buyers who are having a harder time finding things for sale.”
West Central Association of Realtors President Dawn Arheit said the market could use more homes in the $100,000 to $130,000 range, which are typically three-bedroom, 1,500-square foot homes.
Homes are still selling fast, despite spending more time on the market in July than this time last year.
Arheit attributes that trend to low interest rates, which continue to drive buyers.
“When they find (a home), they better move quick because it moves much faster than previous years,” said Stanford, who noted that the average home spent half as much time on the market in July than it did three years ago. “It’s becoming more common that multiple people are making offers on the same home. The biggest thing that buyers need to do is have their financing in order so that when they’re looking, they’re ready to make a decision.”
Statewide, the Ohio Realtors Association reports home prices rose 7.7%, and sales picked up by 2.8% in July.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.