2012 is starting to look like it could be a better year for local real estate sales in Erie, Huron and Ottawa counties. According to numbers released last week from the Ohio Association of Realtors, unit sales are up and so are prices.
“The Ohio housing market continues to display signs of recovering from the economic challenges that have confronted the nation since the onset of the economic downturn that began in 2008, with sales activity in February posting gains of more than 19 percent from the mark set during the same moth a year ago,” said Robert Miller, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors.
Unit sales in February 2012 in the Firelands Association of Realtors area — which includes Ottawa, Huron and Erie counties — increased 6 percent, from 116 units sold in February of 2011 to 123 units sold in February of 2012. However, total dollar volume increased 12.3 percent in February, mainly due to a combination of increased unit sales plus a nearly 6 percent increase in the average sale price.
The year-to-date figures for the first two months of 2012 show similar gains. The number of units sold is up nearly 9 percent for the year, while the total dollar volume is up nearly 10 percent due in large measure to an overall increase in the average sale price compared to the same time frame a year ago.
All of those numbers are lagging behind the comparable figures from the State of Ohio as a whole which has seen a 16.5 percent increase in unit sales from the same two-month period a year ago.
Miller noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests that the industry remains optimistic about the market’s outlook in the coming months. Seventy-seven percent of Realtors describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong, an 11 percent jump just since January. Eighty-two percent of Ohio Realtors believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains.