Here’s why it’s a good time to be selling homes in southwest Ohio

The average price for home sales in the region rose for the 17th consecutive month in November, including increases in both Butler and Warren counties, while average number of days homes were on the market dropped by double digits.

The median home sales price for the year in Butler County rose 5.6 percent from 2016, while the average amount of days on the market dipped 22 percent.

In Warren County, median home sales prices for the year rose 9.8 percent , while the average amount of days on the market dipped 13 percent.

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Meanwhile, inventory in both counties remains scarce. Brian Smith, who has been looking to purchase a home in Butler County since November to relocate from Indiana for work, said the home buying market is “pretty tough.”

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“There’s not a lot of selection out there per se, and when good houses come up, they get sold really quick,” Smith said.

Donna Deaton, a vice president and manager at RE/MAX Victory in Liberty Center, said the region is “definitely in a seller’s market right now.”

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“With the inventory as low as it is, the sellers have a little bit more control on accepting offers because we are, in most cases, in multiple offer situations,” Deaton said. “That really gives the seller more leverage to be able to accept an offer that increases the sales price from what it was this time last year.”

In some places, it’s ‘crazy’

In November 2016, the average home price in the Greater Cincinnati area — including Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties — was $191,389. That climbed to $206,042 for November 2017, a 7.66 percent increase, according to the Cincinnati Area board of Realtors. At the same time, the inventory of homes for sale, as of Nov. 30, continued its year-over-year declining trend to 4,997 from 5,777 a year ago, down 13.5 percent.

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“This is comparable to what we saw in the late 1990s into the early 2000s before the crash,” said Deaton, a realtor since 2003. “We were at a lower inventory. At that point the values were extremely higher than what they are now, of course.”

Much of Warren County’s home value increase is due to one community.

“Mason is crazy over there,” she said. “It is so busy, you can literally sell a house within hours if you don’t sell it even before it goes on market. when we put a coming soon out there for the public as well as other agents.”

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That’s also the trend in many Butler County communities, as well.

“If it’s priced right and in great condition, it’s gone in a minute with multiple offers,” she said.

Those able to put more money down have the advantage in the bidding wars that continue to be competitive.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenging market so to speak for that situation but, for the most part, it’s been a great year in real estate,” she said.

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Home sales expected to stay strong

The amount of home sales in Butler County dipped from 4,767 through November 2016 to 4,650 this year through November, a 2.5 percent drop. In Warren County, sales decreased from 3,229 by the end of November 2016 to 3,198 by the end of November 2017, a 1 percent dip.

But November and December home sales across the Greater Cincinnati area are expected to help even things out across the region. They soared in the month of November, up 6.55 percent to 2,001 homes sold compared to November 2016, when sales numbered 1,878.

“Since June, home sales have been strong, but not as good as last year,” said David Welch, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. “(In November), home sales showed its fortitude, exceeding last year’s sales and, year to date, coming very near to exceeding 2016 sales.”

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Nationwide, November home sales were up 5.6 percent from October on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 3.8 percent from November 2016.

Welch said home sales in the Greater Cincinnati area should end strong in 2017 and stay strong into 2018.

“Even though inventory remains low and interest rates have climbed slightly, the average price of property, in general, continues to rise and the economy appears to remain strong,” Welch said. “Even though we’re in the winter months, property that’s in move-in ready condition in a desired location is still selling quickly.”

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