Ohio home sales fell in March

Staff report


With prices on the rise, home sales in Ohio fell during March, compared with February and March 2013 levels, as the state’s housing market kicked off a slow start to the spring buying season.

Sales in March reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 114,915, a 6.6 percent decrease from the same time a year ago.

The market also fell off by 2.3 percent from February’s upwardly revised rate of 117,601, according to data released Tuesday by the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Seventeen of 20 markets in the state reported declining sales-activity levels, but the average sales price increased in 12 of those markets.

Last month’s average home price of $135,730 represented a 3.3 percent increase from last March.

“While activity in the Ohio housing marketplace slipped from levels posted a year ago, overall our sales were able to reach the second-highest mark — both for March and throughout the quarter — since the onset of the economic downturn in 2008,” Chris Hall, the OAR president, said in a statement.

“A tight inventory of homes for sale and lingering winter conditions have contributed to a less-robust housing sector so far this year,” Hall said.

In the first quarter of 2014, sales were down 2.7 percent from the first three months of last year, and sales dropped 8 percent from just one quarter ago.

The total dollar volume for the first quarter exceeded $3 billion, but that number was down from first-quarter sales activity of $3.1 billion in 2013.

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