Local home sales stay in line with national increases

Staff report


Home sales in Mahoning and Columbiana counties increased in March compared with last year, while Trumbull County sold 11 percent fewer homes, according to the Youngstown-Columbiana Association of Realtors.

The median sale price for homes across the Valley continued to seesaw, with Trumbull and Columbiana values dipping slightly and Mahoning County increasing prices by 13 percent year-over-year last month.

In all, 176 homes were sold in Mahoning County in March versus 169 last year, for a gain of 4 percent. The median sale price ticked up from $65,000 in 2012 to $73,450 last month. Home prices have risen in the county by 9.3 percent during the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Columbiana County continued with modest gains, with 53 sales closing — three more than in March 2012. The median sale price declined by 25 percent, however, going from $68,225 last year to $51,000 last month.

Though the real-estate market has improved in Columbiana County, gains in the median sale price have been among the lowest in the Valley. During the past 12 months, Columbiana County has witnessed 0.7 percent growth in the median sale price.

Sales in Trumbull County slid, dropping to 136 last month from 153 a year earlier. The median sale price also decreased to $70,000 from $75,000 a year earlier, the second month in a row the median sale price has declined.

Across Ohio, home sales increased by 12 percent in March, as the market made headway for the 21st- consecutive month, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Sales through the first quarter of 2013 reached 24,412 in Ohio, a 13.5 percent increase from the 21,515 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sale price (January through March) this year is $125,920, a 5.7 percent increase from the $119,166 mark set during the period a year ago.

Nationally, sales of previously owned homes fell 0.6 percent in March from the prior month, to hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Still, March sales were 10.3 percent higher compared with the same time a year earlier.

The median home price was up 6.2 percent from the prior month and 11.8 percent from the same month a year earlier, to hit $184,300. The gains in March were the strongest since November 2005. It was the 13th- consecutive year-over-year gain in prices.

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