Home sales down in region due to lack of inventory

Home sales dipped slightly in both Clark and Champaign Counties for the first half of this year, as a lack of inventory remains a challenge and drives up sales prices.

Statewide, 2017 was a record year for home sales, and reports from January to May show the industry is just slightly off pace so far this year said Carl Horst, a spokesman for the Ohio Association of Realtors. Home sales for that period are down 0.7 percent compared to last year, while the average sales price crept up about 6 percent.

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“Overall we’re keeping pace with record sales we’ve experienced over the last couple years,” Horst said.

Clark and Champaign County are seeing a similar trend, said Sunny Dhingra, president of the Springfield Board of Realtors.

Information from the Western Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service showed there were 597 residential properties sold for the first half of this year, compared to 653 in 2017, a decline of almost 9 percent. But Dhingra said demand for homes combined with a lack of available inventory is also driving up average sale prices, which is good for residents looking to put their homes on the market.

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“You’ve kind of run into multiple offers, which leads to higher prices,” Horst said.

The average sales price in Clark County crept up about 5 percent compared to the first half of last year, Dhingra said.

“We sell them very quickly,” Dhingra said of existing inventory.

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Champaign County is in a similar situation, according to statistics from WRIST. There were 173 residential properties sold in Champaign County in the first half of this year, down about 6.5 percent compared to the same time last year. But the average sale price crept up 10.4 percent.

A lack of new homes on the market continues to be a challenge in Clark County, Dhingra said. In his office, there are about three times as many homes in the process of being sold as there are available properties left on the market, he said.

The Springfield City commission is expected to review a proposal this week for a new housing development on 37 acres of property south of the Tuttle Road Walmart next week. If built, it would be the first new major housing development of its kind since the 1990s, according to city officials.

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“We need more housing in Clark County, especially with all the people who are going to need places to live here.” Dhingra said.

Economic development officials in both Clark and Champaign counties have previously told the News-Sun a lack of newer homes has made it more challenging to draw new business and encourage skilled workers to live in both counties. Companies like Topre and Silfex have pledged to create hundreds of jobs in the area, and local officials have said new housing options are needed to encourage those workers to live in Clark County.

However, the Central Regional Planning Commission has raised concerns about the proposed development, including how the project may be financed and the possibility the developers could build homes too close together if the initial demand is slower than expected.

The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper spoke to real estate experts about residential home sales in the region.

By the numbers:

653 — Total units sold in Clark County in 2017 to June

597 — Total units sold in Clark County in 2018 to June

185 — Total units sold in Champaign County in 2017 to June

173 — Total units sold in Champaign County in 2018 to June

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