Area home prices could stabilize this summer

Potential home buyers could find cheaper home prices this summer in some parts of the Dayton region despite a long-running shortage of affordable homes.

Home prices have increased in the area over the last several years as inventory shortens and demand increases. Median price peaked at a record $158,000 in June, 9 percent higher than the year before. In 2010, the median home price was $105,000.

The biggest issue real estate agents and home buyers have seen in today’s housing market is a shortage of affordable homes between $100,000 and $300,000, which typically attract first-time home buyers, lower-income potential homeowners and baby boomers looking to downsize.

But area real estate agents have said the shortage might ease as the weather warms up and more people planning to move during the summer put their homes on the market.

“We’re seeing an increase already this month in listings,” said Jan Leverett, president of Dayton Realtors. “May is going to be the best month for new listings coming out and opportunities because then people know that they can move by June, July, which is when they’re all being relocated.”

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On three different listing appointments this month, Leverett said she told her clients to wait until May to list their homes because otherwise the families could be displaced and have to move twice because of how quickly homes are flying off the market.

Many houses and condos are selling within 24 hours, and some are getting offers in less than three hours, Leverett said. Tyler Morton, broker-owner of Re-MAX Victory, said he recently listed a home that received multiple bids within eight hours.

“I’m hoping for more inventory. It has been a very frustrating market if you’re working with a buyer because there just isn’t enough housing to meet the demand,” said Laurie Westheimer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Heritage.

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The increase in inventory could help decrease prices, especially where more listings are already coming on the market north of Dayton, said Tami Holmes with HER Realtors.

Even in landlocked areas between Dayton and Cincinnati that could still see a shortage this summer, prices are likely to start declining a bit, she said.

“(Prices) went up too quickly because of the shortage. People were paying more than they normally would,” Holmes said. “But now we’re starting to see a correction, which is actually good for the market…prices are starting to adjust down a bit to where they should be.”

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The Dayton-area is at the beginning of that trend, she said. Typically national corrections start on the coasts and work their way into the Miami Valley.

The value of homes will be a more real number, Leverett said, rather than buyers paying some cash out of pocket to meet an asking price above appraisal.

But real estate agents warned the shortage ease may just be a factor of the season and won’t last forever. It also doesn’t apply to every community, where demand is largely driven by school district.

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In the Springboro school district, for example, there are currently only two listings across all of Dayton Realtors between $200,000 and $250,000, said Austin Castro with Irongate Realty. While the inventory might increase over the summer, so will demand, he said.

But other parts of the Miami Valley, especially north of Dayton, are already seeing the inventory rebounding, Holmes said.

“I think it’s going to be an excellent time to buy because you’re going to have those low interest rates…and with more inventory coming on I think we’ll see sales go up,” she said.


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