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Detectives on the scene of Springfield car fire

Winter weather takes toll on Ohio home sales

Harsh winter weather conditions took a toll on another segment of the economy, lowering home sales across Ohio in January, the Ohio Association of Realtors said Friday.

Sales of existing single family homes and condominiums fell about 5 percent in January to 6,972 units sold across the state. It was the first decline in activity statewide following 30 consecutive months of gains. However, the Ohio average sold price did increase year-over-year in January by 5.6 percent to $127,327, according to the real estate group.

“The Ohio housing market, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, experienced a reduction in activity levels,” said Chris Hall, president of the Ohio Realtors group, in a statement. “Certainly, the extreme weather conditions throughout the state during the month contributed to the downturn.”

National auto sales and retail sales overall also took dips in January due some to weather.

The region that includes Clark County saw the number of homes sold decline 8.5 percent in January from the year before to 279 units sold, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors. The region’s average sold price — covering Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Logan, Mercer, Miami and Shelby counties — rose more than 6 percent to $101,712.

On a positive note, the Dayton-area bucked the Ohio-wide trend. Home sales in Greene, Montgomery and Preble counties and northern Warren County rose 3 percent to 739 homes sold in January, compared to 717 homes sold in January 2013, according to Dayton Area Board of Realtors. Dayton’s average sold price was unchanged at $109,209.

“Generally what I think you’re finding is the inventory is down,” said Mark Kottman, 2014 president of the Dayton realtors group and an associate partner for the firm HER Realtors. “With the inventory being down, buyers are having a little harder time finding the home description they’re looking for.”

Low inventory was more of a market driver in Dayton last month than the cold temperatures and snow, Kottman said.

“Those properties that are on the market that are priced right and showable are moving very quickly,” he said.

Looking ahead, “we’re going to have a year of lower inventory which is going to drive the price up,” he added.

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