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Regional Spotlight: Home Prices Rise as Inventory Drops — Positive Signs for Central Ohio Housing

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RISMEDIA, May 24, 2011—The number of homes listed for sale this year is lower than the previous year suggesting the central Ohio housing market is continuing its steady recovery. The 3,940 homes added to the market in April represent a 15.1 decrease compared to April of 2010 and the 3,886 new listings in March were almost 22 percent lower than the previous year according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. The number of new listings January through April (13,247) is almost 20 percent lower than the same period last year.

“Sales prices have reflected the surplus inventory on the market for the last few years,” says Rick Benjamin, 2011 President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “And housing follows the basic economic principal of supply and demand. When there are more homes on the market than buyers, the price of the home may have to drop to compete.”

“However, if inventory levels continue to drop, we’ll see the price of homes begin to rise again. For instance, the median price of homes added to the market last month—$157,900—is 5.3 percent higher than inventory added in April of 2010.”

Currently, there are approximately 15,146 residential homes available for sale in the central Ohio area—12,322 single family homes and 2,824 condominiums.

Home sales in April were 8.9 percent ahead of the month prior (1,487); but trailed last year by 25.9 percent. Year to date sales (January through April) are 13.2 percent lower than the same period last year.

“We didn’t expect April sales to come close to that of last year,” offers Benjamin. “Last year, the home buyer tax credit deadline was April 30 so buyers were breaking down the doors to get an approved contract.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.84 percent in April which is the same rate as March; the rate was 5.10 percent in April 2010.

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union

Counties and parts of Champagne, Clark, Hocking, Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingham, Perry and Ross Counties.

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