This month, Middletown City Council members and various city officials will be taking a field trip to look at new home developments in the region.
City officials and council are taking a hard look at Middletown’s housing issues in hopes of improving its housing stock by spurring new home construction as well as connecting for residents how property values affect taxes.
From 2011 to 2015, residential property values in Middletown have decreased 13.5 percent — or nearly $58.7 million, according to City Manager Doug Adkins. Overall, the city’s property rates dropped just 8.8 percent.
Looking closer at housing, Adkins said the median home value in Middletown dropped from $107,500 in 2000 to $93,700 in 2015. Overall, he said 78.4 percent of Middletown’s home values were under $150,000. Adkins said that 79.3 percent of the city’s housing was built before 1980 and 21.5 percent was built before 1939.
In addition, he said more than 49 percent of housing in Middletown is two bedrooms or less, meaning people who have larger families and want to move up to the next housing level are forced to go elsewhere. The percentage of owner-occupied housing is 52.7 percent, while rentals are at 47.3 percent.
As Middletown looks to improve its housing stock, Adkins said the city is also in competition with other area communities to build newer housing.
Recently, Warren County announced a new community authority to develop the 1,200-acre Union Village in Turtlecreek Twp., just several miles from Renaissance, an upscale housing development on Middletown’s East End in Warren County.
Adkins recently said said some developers have discussed building as many as 400 new homes with three or more bedrooms at a price point of $150,000 and higher in the Miller Ridge area and at Sawyer Mills. However he said those talks are have only been preliminary.
Jennifer Ekey, the city’s economic development director, recently visited some new subdivisions built by Ryan Homes in Xenia and Amelia that might work in Middletown.
Ekey said Ryan Homes has models of the homes in the “Simply Ryan” product line in both communities.
She said there are five different housing layouts in this product line from a three-bedroom ranch to a five-bedroom, two- story house. Ekey said there are many options for people depending on their stage in life and their particular wants and needs.
“Ryan Homes has actually been looking in Middletown for many years and feel like this is a good time to look more seriously at getting a new housing development started,” Ekey said. “Our recent housing study confirms the need for housing in the $150,000 to $200,000 range, which is where these houses are priced at.”
Ekey also said the city has been talking to other home builders in the area.
A representative from Ryan Homes declined to comment on this story citing company policy.
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