Toledo area housing market strong in 2018

By Jon Chavez - The Blade (TNS)

TOLEDO — It may have been a rocky year for the stock market and parts of the economy, but in the Toledo housing market 2018 was surely the best of times.

In Lucas and upper Wood counties last year home sales increased 3.8 percent, according to new figures from the Toledo Regional Association of Realtors.

Additionally, the median home price rose 3.4 percent to $124,000 last year. During the same period, the mean home price rose 4.5 percent to $150,924.

The median means that half of the homes that sold were above $124,000 and half were below it. The mean, or average, is determined by adding all the prices of the homes that sold then dividing that figure by the number of homes sold.

In terms of total volume, approximately $965.7 million worth of homes were sold last year — an 8.6 percent increase of 2017. There were a total of 6,404 homes sold.

“Obviously, this past year on all fronts, I thought it was a really positive year,” said Doug Kwiatkowski, the Realtors association 2018 president.

“Prices were up nearly 5 percent year-over-year,” he added. “Inventories are still down a bit. But even that loosened up a bit at the end of last year, though it’s still below where we’d like to see it.”

Figures showed that homes in 2018 spent about 86 days on the market before selling. That was an 8.5 percent drop from 2017 — an indication that metro Toledo remains a seller’s market.

Made with Flourish

John Mangas, broker/owner of Re/Max Preferred Associates in West Toledo, agreed that Toledo was a seller’s market, “but it wasn’t overheated,” he said.

“It was reasonable price appreciation. None of us want to have a bust market. There are some markets that go so hot — and then the bottom falls out,” Mr. Mangas said.

Metro Toledo, while a strong market in 2018 that favored sellers because of low inventory, was almost a “historic” year for real estate, the broker said.

“All the indicators were in the plus column, which tells me that people are working, the economy’s doing better,” Mr. Mangas said. “Yes, the early summer selling market was overheated, and very much a seller’s market. But it normalized in the fourth quarter and it is still good,” he added.

In December, home sales in metro Toledo were up 11.3 percent with 402 homes sold.

The median sales price in the final month fell 2 percent to $115,000, while the mean sales price dropped less than 1 percent to $139,949. Homes were on the market 86 days, a 9.5 drop from December, 2017.

While 2018 was a strong year for the local housing market, Mr. Kwiatkowski said 2019 thus far is a mystery as to how it might go.

“There are concerns about auto jobs and plant closings, but in the short-term I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “Yet some of this federal government stuff is putting a crimp in the market.”

Mr. Kwiatkowski said if the government remains shut down, potential buyers hoping to use their tax refunds as a down payment won’t have any cash to close on home sales.

And obtaining tax records for loan qualification could also hamper buyers.

“The fed government has put that on hold until the government is is back in business. There’s a possibility people could lose a deal because of this,” Mr. Kwiatkowski said.

By Jon Chavez

The Blade (TNS)

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