Central Ohio home sales slump on thin inventory

Central Ohio home sales slump on thin inventory

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Central Ohio home sales slipped in February as the number of homes for sale again dropped to record lows.

During the month, 1,681 homes changed hands, down 2.8% from February 2017.

Sales were dampened by an ongoing lack of choices for homebuyers. At the end of February, 3,378 homes were listed throughout central Ohio, 21% less than a year earlier.

“The lack of inventory in central Ohio is a major obstacle for home buyers in today’s market,” said Sara Walsh, president of the Columbus Realtors trade group.

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Stiff competition for homes pushed the median sales price of a Columbus-area home to $177,000, 9.3% higher than a year ago.

Statewide, sales declined 1.7% from a year ago while prices rose 8.8%.

Nationally, sales rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million, the first gain in three months.

“A big jump in existing sales in the South and West last month helped the housing market recover from a two-month sales slump,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.

“The very healthy U.S. economy and labor market are creating a sizeable interest in buying a home,” Yun said in a news release. “Affordability continues to be a pressing issue, because new and existing housing supply is still severely subpar.”

Tribune Content Agency

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