November home sales drop significantly in Butler, Warren counties

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Butler and Warren counties saw double-digit drops in November home sales compared to last year, as the average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate hit its highest peak in two decades.

In November, Warren County’s home sales dropped 45.6% compared to November 2021, while Butler County’s home sales fell 19.1% compared to the same time period, according to Realtor Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, which tracks sales by its member real estate agents.

Compared to November 2021, data from RAGC shows fewer homes went up for sale last month, those homes sat on the market longer, and the average sale price continued to grow.

The trend is occurring as the continual and rapid rise in interest rates makes mortgages a significantly more expensive proposition for would-be homeowners. Coming into November, the average interest rate for 30-year, fixed mortgage was 7.08%, compared to a 3.14% rate a year prior.

In a release, Kay Edwards, the president of RAGC, noted the lull in sales, but predicted that the upcoming months “should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have peaked” — a possibility, as rates did drop to 6.49% entering December.

Edwards also said lower sales are “typical when going into the winter months.”

Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan said home sales, which are calculated differently by county auditor’s offices, were down about 30% in November compared to last year.

For Nolan’s office, there tends to be a 30-to-60 day delay between the actual sale of a property and the signals of that home’s sale — “home sales” are tracked via the small conveyance fee his office receives, which usually comes in about a month or two after sales close. Meaning, that 30% is potentially indicative of home sale data from September and October of this year.

“There still isn’t much on the market,” Nolan said of his county’s listings. “October [conveyances] started to slow and November really cooled.”

Nolan said there isn’t a huge level of concern for him, as homes have not lost their value. He said home prices increasing less rapidly is good for the market, as the trajectory of price increases was simply unsustainable for too long of a period.

Nolan said the low home sales in Warren County is likely a reflection of the high interest rates. Folks are less likely to take the step to sell their home because they’d rather keep their grandfathered-in, low interest rates; and new homeowners are priced out of options that would be available to them with last year’s interest rates.

Ultimately, with high interest rates looking semi-permanent, Nolan said, “I expect the downward trend to continue.”

The rest of the RAGC’s report on the counties’ housing markets is as follows:

Warren County’s November housing market data:

  • 178 home sales compared to 327 last November, a 45.6% decrease
  • 169 listings compared to 237 last November, a 28.7% decrease
  • Average of 9 days on the market compared to 4 last November, a 125% increase
  • Median sales price of $360,570 compared to $320,900 last November, a 12.4% increase

Butler County’s November 2022 housing market data:

  • 356 home sales compared to 440 last November, a 19.1% decrease
  • 305 listings compared to 397 last November, a 23.2% decrease
  • Average of 8 days on the market compared to 4 last November, a 100% increase
  • Median sales price of $260,000 compared to $239,750 last November, an 8.4% increase

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