What to know about Butler County’s housing market entering 2019

A sign outside a home at 3607 Poinciana Road in Middletown advertises for an open house earlier this year. Home sales through and including November are up nearly 1 percent in Butler County compared to the same time last year and the average price is up 5.7 percent. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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A sign outside a home at 3607 Poinciana Road in Middletown advertises for an open house earlier this year. Home sales through and including November are up nearly 1 percent in Butler County compared to the same time last year and the average price is up 5.7 percent. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The upward trajectory of home sales in Greater Cincinnati is leveling off as 2018 comes to a close, but the market remains strong, according to Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors data.

Home sales for 2018 for the Greater Cincinnati area — which includes Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties — totaled 23,930 as of the end of November compared to 24,175 through November in 2017, a drop of just 1 percent.

Although sales of single-family homes and condominiums slowed a bit this year, they remained “excellent” and one of the strongest in over 10 years, said Phil Morrical III, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

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“We had such demand at points of the year that inventory was drastically low,” said Morrical, a Liberty Twp. resident. “For home sellers it was fantastic because the demand went up and, of course, when demand’s up and supply is low, prices go up, so it increases the values of the homes.”

The average price of a home sale is on track to increase, up to $214,238 as of November compared to year-to-date numbers of $202,637 as of the end of November 2017, a 5.7 percent boost.

Buyers had to make quick decisions to snap up a home in 2018, he said.

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“Sometimes we had people buying houses this year sight unseen, unbelievable as it may seem,” Morrical said. “They wanted to get in, and we had to look at how to handle multiple offers, which some agents had never done. We also had to look at what happens when you’ve got an offer in and somebody comes in behind you and raises it.”

Morrical said he believes the reason sales cooled off a bit toward the end of the year was political and economic uncertainty. With prices stabilizing and inventory on the rise, there’s an opportunity for those looking to buy a home to step in and do so.

Butler County Residential Sales went from 4,646 as of November 2017 to 4,688 as of year-to-date sales at the end of last month, a 0.9 percent increase. Average home sale prices increased from $185,390 as of November 2017 to $198,969 for year-to-date sales last month, a nearly 7.3 percent increase.

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Warren County Residential Sales went from 3,203 as of November 2017 to 3,072 as of year-to-date sales at the end of last month, a 4.1 percent decrease. Average home sale prices increased from $259,566 as of November 2017 to $273,733 for year-to-date sales last month, a nearly 5.5 percent increase.

While sales at the end of 2017 had realtors on the go, the end of this year is seeing the market slow, especially as a low inventory got lower, according to Donna Deaton, vice president of RE/MAX Victory in Liberty Twp., which deals with homes from Cincinnati to Dayton.

The completion of newly constructed, move-in-ready market homes should help sales numbers rebound in 2019, Deaton said.

“I think 2019 is going to be a lot of what we saw maybe more so in 2017 because our inventory’s going to be back a little bit,” she said. “I think we’re still going to be in a seller’s market for the most part, but I think we’re slowly going to see the trend change and go back into a buyer’s market either mid-year or the third quarter.”

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