Realtors report good year for home sales, prices rise

By all accounts, 2017 was a good year for home sales in the Dayton area and interviews with real estate agents show they are optimistic about the year ahead as well.

In fact, the year was so strong a relatively low inventory of available homes has created a demand that hasn’t existed for a long time.

“We’ve been in bidding wars on houses, which is something we haven’t seen in years,” said Jan Leverett, treasurer for the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. “Houses are coming up that are selling within 12 to 24 hours if they’re the right location at the right price.”

Homes that are ready for move-ins are sometimes selling “immediately,” Leverett said.

Final end-of- year numbers for 2017 haven’t been released, but agents say they won’t likely change their outlook.

Higher demand

According to the board, 15,036 homes had been sold by the end of November, up 1.18 percent from the same point last year.

An even bigger change was in price, however. The median sale price for a local single-family home or condo was $134,000 in 2017 —nearly 6 percent higher than the $126,500 median in 2016.

MOREDeveloper eyes $30M project 'in the heart of Beavercreek'

At the end of November, Dayton-area inventory stood at 3,653 single-family homes and condominiums, a number which should last for about 2.9 months, according to the board. The board’s “inventory” number represents homes and condos left unsold.

At the same point in 2016, the inventory was higher — 5,050 homes and condos, and the supply was expected to last 4.2 months.

New listings — or properties newly put up for sale — reached 19,617 homes and condos from the beginning of the year until the end of November 2017 , down 1.55 percent from 19,925 homes by the same point in 2016.

That low inventory of available homes is reflected in both rising prices and increased demand, which Realtors say is keeping them busy even during traditionally slow months.

MORE2017 year of record-growing stock market: What you need to know

“There’s no magic crystal ball that says February is the best time to put your house on the market,” Leverett said. “I think today is. If you’re thinking about it, do it.”

Desirable homes are going fast, agents say, and they’ve been advising more clients to get pre-approved for financing so they’re in a position to move fast if necessary.

“Every time I meet with a buyer, I have to prep them ahead of time,” said Stephanie Barr, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Heritage on Yankee Street in Washington Twp.

‘A good year for everybody’

A market this strong hasn’t been seen in eight years — “before the bubble burst,” as Leverett put it, referring to the 2007 onset of the Great Recession. Economists say that recession endured from December 2007 until about June 2009, although its effects were felt for years beyond.

“It was probably closer to 2005 or 2006 when it was this good and this competitive,” said Leverett, who will become the Dayton Area Board of Realtors’ president-elect in 2018.

Property values in 2017 increased about five percent in Montgomery County, she said. And while that can mean higher property taxes, Leverett said the rise in values is a positive sign of a more healthy economy.

“The economy is great,” she said. “Interest rates are still remaining low.”

MORECanadian business buys fire-plagued former soap factory

Builders are slowly stepping back into the market, which is easing the inventory shortage somewhat, though the Realtors said they wished there were more “spec” homes being built —homes that don’t immediately have an identified buyer. The buying process can take about 30 to 45 days, with loan approvals, home inspections and more, they said.

Barr said she expects interest rates to remain low into next year.

“It’s been a good year for everybody,” she said.

Single-family and condominium numbers

January through November data for 2017 and 2016*

Listings: 19,617 (2017) - 19,925 (2016)

Solds: 15,036 (2017) - 14,861 (2016)

Median sales price: $134,000 (2017) - $126,500 (2016)

Average sales price: $155,822 (2017) - $147,380 (2016)

*Latest numbers due Dec. 20

Source: Dayton Area of Board of Realtors

About the Author