“It is slowing down ... we’re not seeing as many houses go for over asking,” said Billie Duncan-Hart, president of Dayton Realtors. “We’re still seeing them go for asking, and houses are sitting on the market longer than they were just a month ago.”
In April, about 48.6% of homes purchased in the Dayton metro area sold for more than the list price, according to Zillow data obtained by this newspaper.
That was up from 41% of properties sold in March and 41% sold in April 2021.
Back in April 2019 and April 2020, only about 17% of area homes were purchased for more than originally advertised, Zillow said. July 2021 was the highwater mark, when about 53% of homes were purchased above the list price.
Many prospective buyers have offered thousands or sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars more than the list price, and bidding wars regularly broke out.
Many buyers made cash offers to increase their chances of having the winning bid.
Late last year, two condos in the Ice Lofts in downtown Dayton sold for $225,000 and $247,000, or about $5,000 over the listing prices.
David Hicks and his husband, Jim Garvey, put in an above-asking-price offer for an Ice Avenue condo the same day they toured it.
“When we walked in, it was exactly what we wanted — it was exactly what we had been looking for,” Hicks said. “With all of the reports on the news about people who got into bidding wars, I told my husband, ‘We’ll go over X amount,’ but I’m not going to go over that because then it will be just outrageous and we can’t afford it.’ ”
Hicks said the market by all indications was very competitive, and they had to act fast when they saw properties they liked.
“As soon as we saw the listing, we got an appointment to go look at it — we didn’t wait,” he said. “Basically, don’t wait.”
Steve Seboldt, a Realtor with Sibcy Cline Realtors, said nearly every home recently purchased in downtown Dayton and high-demand historic districts like South Park, St Anne’s Hill and the Oregon District fetched more than what the owners originally requested.
“I’ve sold four properties since the fall (three were downtown),” he said. “Three of the four sold for over list.”
Data from Sibcy Cline’s Vandalia sales office shows that 10 of the group’s last 15 sales went over list, Seboldt said, and most properties that hit the market receive multiple offers.
A shortage of sellers pushed up prices, Seboldt said, and contributing factors included limited new home construction and a trend of retired baby boomers staying in their houses longer.
Also, he said, interest rates until recently were very low, which allowed buyers to increase their bids and still qualify for loans.
But things have been different more recently, and properties that are hitting the market are not selling as quickly as they did, and bidding wars are becoming less common, said Duncan-Hart, with Dayton Realtors.
The supply of available homes has increased, which gives home-seekers more options to choose from, she said.
Local listings of single-family homes and condominiums are up about 4% this year compared to 2021, according to data from Dayton Realtors. Still, they remain down about 9% from 2019, pre-pandemic.
Rising interest rates will make home purchases more expensive, but that likely will slow demand and eventually bring down home prices, Duncan-Hart said.
Since the start of the pandemic, this has been a very difficult market for first-time homebuyers, but hopefully that will start to change, she said.
The median home sales price in the Dayton region was $220,000 in May, which was up nearly 13% from a year ago, Dayton Realtors said.
It’s important to remember that sellers and listing agents aren’t just looking at the amounts of the offers they receive — they also want confidence the deals will go through, Duncan-Hart said.
Home-seekers should obtain pre-approval letters from lenders to prove they can get financing if they want to have a decent shot of getting a home in this market, she said.