Local economy, affordability, job scene driving hot Dayton-area housing market



The Dayton area is projected to be among the top housing markets in the nation next year because of its strong local economy, robust job scene and relative affordability.

The metro area was ranked No. 17 among the top 100 housing markets in listing price appreciation and home sales growth next year, according to a Realtor.com local housing forecast. It’s predicted to do so with a 2022 home sales change of 10.7%, a forecasted home price change of 4.3% and a forecasted combined sales and price change of 15%.

That’s because the city offers “a well-diversified economy,” according to George Ratiu, manager of economic research and senior economist at Realtor.com.

“So far we’re seeing that Dayton has seen, even with this pandemic, a solid recovery from a year ago,” Ratiu told the Dayton Daily News. “The unemployment rate as of October, the latest that the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has it available was 4% for the Dayton MSA, which is below the national (unemployment rate). That signifies, obviously, a strong economy.”

Manufacturing, financial and professional business services, all have seen, by and large, strong gains, he said.

It helps to have a job scene that includes everything from government work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to a multitude of private companies, plus well-respected universities, Ratiu said.

“This is the first driver, as in any real estate market,” he said. “Without job growth, it’s hard to have a healthy market.”

Ratiu said data collected by Realtor.com on those visiting the site and compiled into a cross-market and demand report shows the Dayton market has attracted a lot of people from outside of Ohio.

“Based on that, when I look at Dayton, I see that about half, 53%, of shoppers looking in Dayton are from the metro area,” he said. “However, 22% come from other parts of Ohio and 25% come from outside of Ohio altogether. To me, it tells me that there’s a strong attraction to Dayton from both within the state as well as out of state.”

A recent phenomenon, especially during the pandemic, is the trend of migration toward affordability accelerating immensely. That, he said, comes from retirees looking to move back to where they grew up or, increasingly, millennials entering their 30s, forming families and looking for quality of life amenities and affordable housing.

“Dayton ticks all those boxes successfully,” Ratiu said.

The top cities for those 25% who are outside of Ohio but shopping the Dayton real estate market are Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., the majority of which are more expensive markets.

The median home price for the Dayton area in October was nearly $200,000, which is “well below” the national median, let alone the more expensive markets, Ratiu said.

“Clearly, people are looking for the strong local economy in Dayton, all the amenities and the affordable housing,” he said. “In the city, for a lot of out-of-state buyers, they can get a lot more for their money.”

Dayton offers “a lot of the amenities of big-city life, but in a much smaller, more pleasant small-city feel,” Ratiu said.

Sharon Geier, president of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors and realtor with Dayton-based real estate firm Irongate Inc. Realtors, agreed.

“We’ve got some urban qualities to us, but we’re not totally urban, and we’ve got a lot of areas for people to enjoy and it’s a good, family-oriented kind of situation,” Geier said.

Other factors include the accessibility to Interstate 75 and Interstate 70 providing easy access to many things in and around the region and beyond, having a strong arts community and being close to a plethora of outdoor recreation areas like parks, golf courses and the downtown riverscape.

“Overall, it’s just a very pleasant, inviting environment and affordable at the same time,” Geier said. “Yes, the prices of homes are up, but in relationship to other areas, there’s still a good market there.”

This year’s top 10 markets are concentrated in the Mountain West, Midwest and New England. In rank order, they include: Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Providence, Rhode Island; Greenville, South Carolina; Seattle, Washington; Worcester, Massachusetts and Tampa, Florida.

Ohio markets among the top 100 markets nationwide for 2022

  • Columbus (5th)
  • Akron (11th)
  • Dayton (17th)
  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa. (21st)
  • Toledo (30th)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. (31st)
  • Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (39th)

SOURCE: Realtor.com

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