Home sales drop from 2019, but local officials say market is healthy

Home sales last month stayed healthy despite the Ohio stay-at-home order but dropped by double digits compared to a year before at the same time, according to the most recent data.

April home sales for the Greater Cincinnati area totaled 1,907 homes, down from 2,390 in April 2019, a 20.2 percent decline, according to the latest data from the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

“April home sales did better than expected under the current COVID restrictions,” said Kelly Meyer, CABR’s president. “Let’s not sugar-coat this … the next few months will continue to be challenging for everyone, but this too will pass, and real estate will be strong.”

Butler County residential sales in April numbered 352, down from 433 in April 2019. Warren County residential sales in April numbered 236, down from 321 in April 2019.

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But the April average home price still was up over the prior year for the 13th straight month, climbing to $233,430 compared to $222,521 a year earlier, a 4.9 percent increase.

The average home sale price in April for Butler County numbered $228,036, up from $206,932 in April 2019. The average home sale price in April for Warren County numbered $296,377, down from $298,396 in April 2019.

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Nationwide, April home sales were down 17.8 percent compared to March on a seasonally adjusted basis and were down 17.2 percent from April 2019.

The latest home construction numbers from the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati show a 9.6 percent increase in single-family home permits in Southwest Ohio through the first quarter of this year compared to the first three months of 2019.

A total of 699 single-family permits were issued through March of this year compared to 638 in 2019. Construction permits were tracked from Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties.

All of the four counties followed by the HBA experienced increases through March 2020, compared to March 2019: Butler was up 4.5 percent with 140 permits; Clermont 15.7 percent with 118 permits; Hamilton 7.6 percent with 127 permits, and Warren 10.6 percent with 314 permits.

That totals 699 permits for an overall increase of 9.6 percent for the region.

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“Despite the pandemic, home buyers are still moving forward with new home construction,” said Dan Dressman, HBA’s executive director. “Interest rates continue to be attractive, new home prices are affordable, and buyers are now making appointments to visit model homes or viewing them virtually.”

Deerfield Twp. led all local communities with 86 single-family permits through March, the latest numbers available from the HBA.

The remaining communities in the top 10 markets in the four-county Southwest Ohio region during the first quarter included: Liberty Twp.: 57; Hamilton Twp.: 41; Miami Twp.: 35; Clear Creek Twp.: 31; Village of Morrow: 29; Batavia Twp.: 28; Turtlecreek Twp. : 25; Blue Ash: 24; Cincinnati: 24; West Chester Twp.: 22.

Top 10 single-family home construction permits: March 2020*

1. Deerfield Twp. (Warren County): 86

2. Liberty Twp. (Butler County): 57

3. Hamilton Twp. (Warren): 41

4. Miami Twp. (Clermont County): 35

5. Clear Creek Twp. (Warren): 31

6. Village of Morrow (Warren): 29

7. Batavia Twp. (Clermont): 28

8. Turtlecreek Twp. (Warren): 25

9. tie: Blue Ash (Hamilton County): 24; Cincinnati (Hamilton County): 24

10. West Chester Twp. (Butler): 22

* - latest numbers available from Home Builders Association of Cincinnati

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