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Home sales, prices rise in June

Home sales for the region including Clark County climbed 13.4 percent in June from the same month last year as historically low mortgage rates and consumer confidence continue drawing buyers in the market, industry experts said.

The Ohio Association of Realtors said Monday that 465 existing single-family homes and condominiums were sold in the seven-county region last month, up 13.4 percent from June 2012 sales of 410 homes.

The region includes Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Logan, Mercer, Miami and Shelby counties.

The region’s average sale price also rose. Homes sold in June for an average $119,111, an increase of 6.3 percent from $112,086 a year earlier, according to early estimates released by the state realtors association.

In Clark County alone last month, 122 homes sold for an average price of $102,638, said Jerome Vinson, 2013 president of Springfield Board of Realtors and real estate agent at the Springfield firm Real Estate II.

Activity in the Clark County housing market is being driven by empty nesters downsizing to smaller houses and homeowners with children wanting to get settled in a new school system before fall, Vinson said.

Also affecting the market is “interest rates have inched up some,” Vinson said. “The interest rates are projected to go up into 2014” based on projections by National Association of Realtors.

June is historically one of the strongest months of the year for home sales and more homes sold in June than any other month so far in 2013 across the region.

The number of homes sold in the region including Champaign, Clark and Miami counties has increased for nine consecutive months. Sales prices have been more sporadic. After beginning the year with three months of year-over-year declines in the average sold price, the average price increased year-over-year throughout the multi-county region from April through June, according to state industry data.

Housing is an important segment of the economy and an improving housing market can help property owners restore equity. For most people, their house is their single biggest asset, and acts as a store of wealth.

As of the end of 2012, 31 percent of Clark County homeowners were so-called “underwater,” owing more on their house that it’s worth, according to data from Zillow Inc.

Statewide, preliminary estimates show that 13,019 sales of single-family homes and condominiums closed last month, up 15.5 percent from June 2012 home sales of 11,267 units, said the Ohio Association of Realtors. The June Ohio average sales price was approximately $161,498, compared to $150,992 a year ago.

Western Regional Information Systems & Technology in Troy houses the region’s Multiple Listing Service for recording home sales and listings.

The biggest challenge in the market “is probably still getting people financed,” Vinson, with Real Estate II, said.

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