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“This is a supply and demand market,” Morrison said. “When the supply is low like it is now, that obviously drives the price up. Then you also have a lot of buyers.”
After working through the foreclosures left from the recession and fewer people going into skilled trades for construction companies, inventory is low, which creates bidding wars that drive up the cost of homes, Morrison said.
Buyers are out in full swing for houses right now because the economy is doing well and interest rates are low, said Herman Castro, a real estate agent with Irongate Realtors. But while they’re looking to buy, the industry is in a sellers market, meaning those selling homes have the control.
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Some homes receive as many as four offers within 72 hours of hitting the market, Castro said, creating bidding wars that often drive the price of a home to more than both the asking and market value.
The median price of a Dayton home reached $158,000 in June. The price is up more than 9 percent from June 2017, according to data from Dayton Realtors.
Dayton home prices are still much lower than other markets across the nation.
Nationally, the median price also hit a record high of $276,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. But Dayton sales remain study, while sales nationwide have dropped for the third straight month, down 2.2 percent year-over-year.
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Even though the prices are high, both Morrison and Castro said those shopping for a home shouldn’t wait for prices to drop.
“If you see something you really like you need to jump on it; you need to make an offer because tomorrow it might not be there,” Morrison said.
Housing sales slow down going into the fall when schools start and weather starts to get worse, Castro said, but even waiting until prices may lower with the demand isn’t necessarily the right idea with interest rates rising.
“The home that they want is there, but they’re going to have to pay top dollar,” Castro said. “And possibly, if they wait until prices drop, the economy might not be as strong, and the interest rates might not be as low, so they’re not going to be in a better position.”
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Morrison said buyers are still finding good deals, sellers are getting good prices for their homes and real estate agents are getting commission from the homes they sell. The only disadvantaged group by the current industry are those looking to buy new homes that are more affordable. Affordable homes aren’t being built as much as more expensive houses, he said.
Sales of new homes nationally dropped more than 5.3 percent in June, along with the median sales price. Newly built homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000 last month, less than May’s revised figure of 666,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median sales price of a new home in June was $302,100 nationally.
New builds are hitting snags because the cost to build is growing with lumber tariffs and a worker shortage. But permits locally for new single-family homes are only down slightly, said Kathleen Unger, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Dayton.
This year’s Homearama runs through Aug. 12. The event features homes in different price ranges, including luxury homes priced as high as $999,000.
Tickets to go on the house tour cost $12 when pre-purchased at Kroger stores or on the Homearama website. They can also be purchased at the houses on display for $15.
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By the numbers
$158,000: Median price of a Dayton-area home
9: Percent increase in local median home price since June 2017
$276,900: National median price of a home
$302,100: Median cost of a newly-built home nationally
How to go
What: 2018 Homearama Touring Edition presented by Vectren
When: July 27 through Aug. 12; 4 to 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; noon to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.
Cost: Admission $12 when pre-purchased at local Kroger stores, online at www.DaytonHomearama.com or through the Dayton Homearama mobile app; $15 at Homearama houses (Children younger than 5 are free when accompanied by paid adult)