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Regional Spotlight–Central Ohio home sales during the first month of 2013 were the highest for January since 2007 just before the housing market began to feel the effects of the economic recession. The 1,374 closings exceeds the previous year by 20.4 percent (1,141) according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.

“Housing activity was up abnormally high during the traditionally slower months at the end of the year,” says Chris Pedon, President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “So we’re not surprised to see such a jump in closings last month.”

Home prices hit their lowest in several years during the recession but are well on their way back. The average sale price of a home sold in central Ohio in 2012 was $167,459, which is 7.2 percent higher than in 2011.The average sales price ($149,477) jumped 5.1 percent from January of 2011 and the median sales price ($129,000) was up 5.3 percent.

New listings as added to the market in January totaled 2,578, which is down 6.0 percent from last year. The number of homes for sale in central Ohio is down to 8,935 – the lowest since summer of 2002.

“We’ve watched inventory dwindle steadily over the last year as demand continued to grow,” adds Pedon. “Homeowners that have been waiting to move up, or tried to sell their home a few years ago, should seriously consider listing their home. It’s a whole new game out there today.”

According to the latest Housing Market Confidence Index (by the Ohio Association of REALTORS®), 96 percent of central Ohio REALTORS® describe the current housing market as moderate to strong and 100 percent expect the housing market to be moderate to strong over the next six months. As for home prices, 91 percent expect home prices to remain the same or rise in the next year.

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross Counties.

For more information, visit www.ColumbusRealtors.com/stats.

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