Home sales drop in Greater Cincinnati area for November, prices rise

Home sales for the Greater Cincinnati area lost momentum last month, while the average price continued to climb.

Sales in November were 1,622 compared to 1,779 in November 2018, an 8.8 percent drop, according to a housing report recently issued by RE/MAX based on Cincinnati Multiple Listing Service data from Hamilton, Butler and Warren Clermont counties.

That decrease is larger than than the national average of 1 percent.

“Because we’re going to go into an election year, that always seems to halt the housing industry a little bit, but I think some of it is (because of) the Baby Boomers, and I’m one,” said Donna Deaton, managing vice president RE/MAX Victory in Liberty Twp., who has been a licensed Realtor for 16 years.

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Boomers, she said, would typically downsize and move into assisted living, but now they are deciding to stay in their homes and not move.

In addition, low inventory continues to strain the market. While a supply of six months is considered balanced, the Greater Cincinnati region has only 2.7 months of inventory, down from 2.9 in November 2018.

“It amazes me how low it is and how people just will not let go and move,” Deaton said. “We’re begging people, but it’s just been a wild ride.”

That high demand and short supply has resulted in higher prices. Median sales price for a home in the region has gone from $175,250 in November 2018, to $187,500 last month, a 7 percent increase.

In Butler County, median sales price increased 4.6 percent, while Warren County saw a 5.2 percent increase.

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Days on the market for home in the region have dropped by five days, with homes lasting 37 days on the market in November 2018 to 32 days on the market last month, significantly lower than the national average for November of 49 days.

Homes for sales stayed on the market just 30 days in Butler County and 43 days in Warren County.

“We are still challenged with the multiple-offer situation and things going within hours of hitting the market,” Deaton said.

In addition, with interest rates so low in addition to a low inventory, home owners are fixing what they have and staying put rather than upgrading for the sake of selling a home and moving, she said.

Lack of inventory also has meant a boom in new construction, with developers receiving multiple offers on homes on new plots of land, Deaton said.

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November’s numbers aren’t necessarily a harbinger of a decrease overall compared to last year. According to Cincinnnati MLS data examined Thursday by this media outlet, 21,235 homes sold in the region through November compared to 21,287 homes by that month in 2018.

That means strong home sales in December could help 2019 top 2018, which amassed 22,790 sales in all.

Even though homes sales in November slowed a bit, the housing market remains strong and affordable,” said Michelle Billings, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. “Our region continues to experience business growth and an influx of millennials along with young and established families moving into Greater Cincinnati. Add in low rates, reasonable prices and a constantly rotating inventory and you have the perfect mix to help keep Cincinnati amongst the most affordable places nationwide to live.”

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