Dayton area home sales best ever

Tight inventories and strong demand drove sales and prices of existing homes in the Dayton area to their highest levels on record last month, the Dayton Area Board of Realtors reported Thursday.

Sales of single-family homes and condominiums reached 1,679 in June, up 6.5 percent from the same month a year ago and 7.4 percent from May, according to the DABR. Meanwhile, the average sales price rose to $161,380, up 5.5 percent from a year ago and 6.5 percent from the previous month.

The number of homes sold and the average sales price were the highest on record for any month since the DABR began tracking such figures and continued a strong first-half trend in which sales and prices hit new monthly highs in each of the past four months.

Total sales in April and May set monthly records, and average sales prices in March, April and May were the best for each month, according to DABR figures.

The housing market has benefited from solid job growth, a rising stock market and mortgage rates that have dipped near historic lows following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, according to Michael Martin, DABR president.

“The stock market rally has helped boost sales, especially for homes with prices in the upper echelon,” Martin said. “And mortgage rates continue to help out, especially for first-time homebuyers.”

Nationwide, about a third of homebuyers are first-time buyers, industry data show.

And despite rising prices, which were expected to cool demand for entry-level buyers, mortgage rates have remained so low that housing is still affordable for the increasing number of first-time buyers being drawn into the market, said Anjanette Frye, past president of the DABR and a Realtor with RCF Properties Inc.

The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45 percent last week, according to a report by Freddie Mac on Thursday, down from 4.04 percent a year ago.

“People are investing and re-investing back into real estate because of low interest rates, which have made them more comfortable in the market,” according to Frye, who noted home sales have continued their sizzling pace despite a lack of homes for sale.

There were 2,193 new listings in the local area last month, down 6 percent from June 2015, according to the DABR, which showed total listings last month stood at 6,073. That represents a 3.6-month supply of listings based on June’s resale rate.

A four-to-five month supply of inventory is a normal average by historical standards.

Tighter inventory in the housing market puts pressure on prices as buyers try to outbid one another for the choicest properties, Frye said.

“This market is definitely favoring the seller, which we haven’t seen in quite some time,” she said. “In some instances, people are paying above asking price, and sellers are seeing multiple offers. It just depends on the property.”

The local trend mirrored the national trend in which U.S. home sales hit their highest levels in more than nine years in June.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007.

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