Northeast Ohio home sales warm up in February

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After a cool January, home sales in Northeast Ohio warmed up a bit in February.

Single-family home sales across the 18-county region were up 7.7% from February 2018, according to multiple listing service data released this week by Yes-MLS, which tracks most new and existing home sales. At the same time, price gains cooled a bit, with the average sale price for the region growing 3.4% from a year prior, which is more modest than some increases seen in recent months. That growth brought the average sale price up to $156,576.

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This, along with a very slight uptick in inventory, 1.5% more new listings last month compared with a year prior, may be welcome news for prospective home buyers who have faced a tight housing market during the past few years, with limited inventory and affordability challenges.

Data for the month also indicate homes are being snapped up more quickly. Single-family homes in the region sat on the market an average of 80 days last month, down from an 89-day average a year ago.

Condominium sales in the region were up 6.9% year-over-year, with the average sale price up 7.6% to $132,801.

In Cuyahoga County, the sales pace was similar to the region’s, increasing 6.7% from last February. The average sale price of $162,225, however, was basically flat compared with a year ago. The number of new homes hitting the market perked up by 8.2%, and the time homes sat on the market dropped to an average of 76 days. Last year at this time, homes in the county were on the market for an average of 90 days.

In the next-largest market in the region, Summit County, sales were essentially flat from a year ago, while average sale price climbed 8% to $153,805.

In other counties with at least 100 home sales last month, sales in Lake, Lorain, Stark and Trumbull counties were up from year-ago levels, while Mahoning and Medina counties saw slight dips.

Homes in Northeast Ohio sold for as much as $1,875,000 and as little as $1,500.

So far this year, home sales in the region are up 3.6% compared with the first two months of 2018.

Home-sale numbers for February are largely in line with what experts have predicted would happen with the local housing market this year. Early this year, real estate experts said they expected 2019 to be another strong year for the local housing market, but with prices perhaps growing at a slower rate and the number of homes on the market inching upward — good signs for those who are looking to buy.

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