While southwest Ohio had sluggish home sales in June compared to 2018, several Butler County communities saw increases, including two of the county’s biggest.
West Chester (110 sales) and Liberty (78) townships continue to be the communities people are moving into, but Fairfield and Hamilton experienced boosts after significant development in both cities.
Hamilton saw a 13-home sales increase in single-family and condo closings last month compared to June 2018, according to data provided by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.
And like most of the county, it had a jump in average and median home sale prices. Fairfield saw a 14-home sales increase over that same period average and median sales price increases as well.
New life has been injected in both communities. Fairfield is investing in a new 6.5-acre multi-use and dog park, and expanding and re-developing Marsh and Harbin parks. Hamilton is seeing millions of dollars invested in business projects — most prominently the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill indoor sports and convention center project —but also the $7 million investment into former Ohio Casualty building among other downtown work.
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“I think there’s a lot of good things going on in both communities,” said Fairfield City Manager Mark Wendling.
The home sales increases in Fairfield and Hamilton over last year comein large part due to the quality of life and ongoing development, said Wendling and Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith.
“As we continue to grow revenues, we will reinvest at a faster pace into improving streets, firehouses and other infrastructure,” Smith said. “All this leads to a more attractive community for people to build a new home or to improve an existing one.”
Several years ago, Hamilton City Council had a push toward stabilizing the budget, which has remained a priority so Hamilton can afford core services, he said.
“Since that has happened, we are seeing bigger projects start,” Smith said.
He said the city also continues “to adaptively reuse historic buildings in our downtown, invest in our parks, and continue community support for our special events.”
“A few years ago, we talked about the ‘muscle of collaboration,’” Smith said. “We are at our strongest when we work cooperatively with our partners.”
About 15 years ago, Fairfield completed the Village Green development, which has become its downtown and features numerous events, like the city’s Groovin’ on the Green weekly summer concert series, Fourth Fridays summer concert series and weekly summer farmers market. It also operates municipal-run 18- and 9-hole golf courses, an aquatic center and has hundreds of acres of parkland.
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“We’re able to offer services some other communities can’t offer,” Wendling said. “I think Fairfield offers superior services when you compare us to just about any other community that surrounds us.”
He said the city’s housing stock variety, the schools and its “really exceptional services” is in large part why people are moving to Fairfield.
“We do have a high quality-of-life,” Wendling said. “I just think we have a really good geographic location, which helps us, and the schools retain a good reputation.”
Fairfield Twp, which is nestled around Hamilton and Fairfield, was statistically flat in terms of people moving to the community in June 2019 compared to June 2018, but it ranked sixth out of 20 jurisdictions in the county of people buying homes. And its average and median home prices have also increased.
“It tells me what we already know,” said Fairfield Twp. Trustee Joe McAbee of the data. “They like the township.”
And as long as the township continues to keep taxes low and provide the services people want, Fairfield Twp. will continue to be “a very popular spot,” he said.
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