A house lined with trees is for sale on quiet, residential Ridgeway Road in Oakwood. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Despite low inventory, Dayton home sales heat up ‘smoking hot’ market

More Dayton area homes were sold in May than any single month in the past decade in what real estate agents are calling a “smoking hot” market.

Sales of single-family homes and condominiums reported in May by the Dayton Area Board of Realtors totaled 1,626, an increase from the 1,316 sales reported in April and four percent higher than May 2016. Though the market has a tight inventory of houses available in the market, it hasn’t stopped a steady increase in real estate business.

“(Sales) are off the charts,” said Herman Castro, an agent with Irongate Realtors in Springboro. “It’s probably the best it’s been in the past 10 years.”

The previous high for a month was 1,576 sold in the Miami Valley in June 2015.

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Castro said the shortage of inventory is causing the market to be ever-competitive — a house will go on the market and will have multiple offers in five to seven days on average. Specifically, houses priced within the $70,000 to $300,000 range are doing particularly well. Once the prices go higher, they have less offers,

May’s median sales price was $133,950, slightly above last May by just less than one percent. The average price of $157,488, meanwhile, was four percent better than last year.

For the first five months of 2017, there were 6,023 sales reported, a 4.4 percent rise from 2016 when 5,765 transactions occurred over the same period, according to the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.

Will the trend last? Castro seems to think it will stick around for now but “every good thing comes to an end,” he said. Realtors struggled to sell houses across the U.S. when the Great Recession hit back in 2008 and the housing market came to a devastating halt in transactions.

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“We’re making hay while we can,” he said. “My staff was just saying how many sales are pending — we’ve got 30 pending sales right now. We’ve got $7.5 million in homes pending to close in the next 45 days. That used to be what you do in a year.”

In the Dayton area, there were 2,173 new listings added in May, up 3 percent from last year’s 2,108, while year-to-date listings tallied 8,960, a 4-percent decrease from the 9,343 submitted through May 2016.

Dayton’s market mimics national trends. Existing-home sales rebounded in May following a decline in April, and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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Total home sales across the U.S. climbed 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May from 5.56 million in April. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales activity expanded in May as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas.

“The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level,” he said. “Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”

In Dayton, buyers should snag up a house quickly if they want it — because it won’t sit on the market long, said Karen O’Grady, DABR president.

O’Grady expects the market to continue to do well, as buyers take advantage of low interest rates and a solid economy. Her advice to buyers? Don’t wait around, because the dream home will be gone tomorrow.

“If you’re a buyer and you see a house you like, then make the offer on it today,” she said.