LIMA — Area home sales continued to fall from December to January. But the region still saw a considerable rise in home sales in prices over January 2019, according to the latest data from the Ohio Association of Realtors.
The report shows 134 homes sold last month in Allen, Hardin and Van Wert counties, down from 160 in December and up from 107 in January 2019. That follows the trend set in 2019, when home sales fell 4.4% over the previous year.
Home prices continued to rise last month to $133,375, an increase of 17.3% from January 2019, when the average home here sold for $113,677, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.
Kate Shulaw, president of the West Central Ohio Association of Realtors, which covers Allen, Van Wert and Hardin counties, credited the decline in home sales to a lack of inventory.
“We need people to list their houses,” she said.
The average sale price in Ohio rose to $197,410 in January, up from $170,476 one year ago.
The Ohio Association of Realtors reported that home sales were up in 17 of Ohio’s 19 local markets compared to January 2019, with home prices rising in 15 of those markets. Only the Ashland, Athens, Greater Portsmouth and Marietta markets saw home prices fall in that time period.
U.S. home sales were down 1.3% from December, according to the National Association of Realtors, which found that U.S. housing inventory in January reached its lowest level since 1999.
First-time homebuyers made up 32% of U.S. home sales in January.
“It is good to see first-time buyers slowly stepping into the market,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said last week. “The rise in the homeownership rate among the younger adults, under 35, and minority households means an increasing number of Americans can build wealth by owning real estate.”
But Yun said more inventory and new home construction — at affordable prices — is needed to expand opportunities to more prospective homebuyers.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.