Continued double-digit home sales make Dayton area ‘a very robust seller’s market’



The double-digit home sales gains that started off 2024 for the Dayton area aren’t showing signs of slowing down.

A total of 1,096 transactions were reported in February, a 23.7% increase over February 2023, according to Dayton Realtors Multiple Listing Service, which includes Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Darke and Preble counties.

The average sale price for single-family homes and condominiums in January increased to $262,600 up 14.4% from last January, while the median sale price also improved, reaching $225,000, up 15.4% from last year.

Kelly McCormick, president of Dayton Realtors, said February’s numbers mean “we have a very robust seller’s market now.”

“I think it’s heading to a very solid spring and summer,” she said. “Prices are definitely holding strong in the seller markets.”

McCormick said she doesn’t believe there’s anything that would change that anytime soon in the Miami Valley region.

“There’s no speculation out there regarding housing prices coming down,” she said. “Interest rates are rather stable. Hopefully they’ll inch down somewhat this summer. I thought they would be lower, but they’re pretty much stable where they all are in the high sixes, low sevens.”

The January-February average sales price was up 14% from last year to $259,574, while the median price also jumped ahead by 14% to $219,000.

More homes entered the market last month than February 2023, reaching 1,251 new listings added, a 24% increase, the organization said.

Total available active inventory was 1,398 by the end of February and represented a little more than one month’s supply of listings based on February’s resale rate. A normal market inventory supply of homes is approximately three months, Dayton Realtors previously said.

The increase in home sales in the Dayton area was mirrored at the state level.

Ohio home sales in February reached 8,810, a 7.8% increase over February 2023, according to Ohio Realtors.

Additionally, sales price and dollar volume across Ohio were up compared to February 2023, with the average sales price reaching $264,941, a 8.9% increase from the $243,210 mark recorded in February 2023.

“With interest rates stabilizing and solid gains in average sale price, consumers recognize the long-term benefits that homeownership provides, sellers feel confident to list their homes, and Ohio Realtors are feeling positive about the market as we enter the spring home-buying season,” Ohio Realtors President Ali Whitley said in a statement.

Twelve of the 14 Ohio markets tracked experienced an increase in average sale price for this February compared to February 2023, the organization said.

Currently, agents working with a buyer and seller typically split a commission of around 5% to 6% that’s paid by the seller. But rule changes to which the National Association of Realtors recently agreed as part of a settlement could allow home sellers and buyers to negotiate lower agent commissions.

As part of the settlement, the NAR agreed to no longer require a broker advertising a home for sale on MLS to offer any upfront compensation to a buyer’s agent. The rule change leaves it open for individual home sellers to negotiate such offers with a buyer’s agent outside of the MLS platforms, though the home seller’s broker has to disclose any compensation arrangements.

“It may take some time for the changes to impact the marketplace, but our hope and expectation is that this will put a downward pressure on the cost of hiring a real estate broker,” said Robby Braun, an attorney in a federal lawsuit brought in 2019 in Chicago on behalf of millions of home sellers.

Analysts with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods also anticipate that the NAR rule changes will lead to lower agent commissions and could persuade some homebuyers to skip using an agent altogether.

“In our view, the combination of mandated buyer representation agreements and the prohibition of blanket compensation offers made by listing agents and sellers should result in significant price competition for buyer agent commissions,” the analysts wrote in a research note.

While setting the stage for homebuyers to negotiate a more competitive price for their agent’s services, the rule changes mean home shoppers will have to factor in how to cover their agent’s compensation.

Homebuyers could still ask a prospective home seller for a concession that includes money to help cover the buyer’s agent compensation. However, a home seller with multiple offers, for example, could refuse or opt to go with a bid from a different buyer who isn’t asking for such a concession.

“The real solution is for the industry to work to remove regulatory barriers that make it difficult for buyers to include this compensation in their mortgages,” said Stephen Brobeck, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America.

McCormick said the market value of real estate has always been set by supply and demand economics; the more buyers’ home sales prices tend to increase, fewer buyers historically shift to lower sales prices.

“The proposed settlement with the National Association of Realtors does not establish or set commission limitations,” she said. “It does remove a buyer agent’s commission from the association’s MLSs. However, brokerages and agents will still market toward buyers, and buyer’s agents will continue to advertise any compensation offered, per agreement, by the sellers in other areas.

“Additionally, commissions have always been negotiable, so sellers can continue to offer buyer compensation to attract more homebuyers to their properties.”

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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