Northeast Ohio home sales were flat in 2018, as sale prices soared

January 15, 2019 GMT

Northeast Ohio home sales were flat in 2018, as sale prices soared

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Home sales cooled markedly in December, falling short of late-2017 levels and contributing to a flat year for transactions across the region.

For all of 2018, sales were off by 0.3 percent - a difference of roughly 150 purchases - across the 18-county area tracked by Yes MLS, a regional real estate listing service. Annual sales of newly constructed and previously owned properties were static in Cuyahoga County, even as average sale prices spiked.

That trend - slowing sales in the face of rising prices - replicated itself across the region during the final months of last year, amid what economists have characterized as a national deceleration driven by rising mortgage rates and waning affordability.

In December, buyers in Northeast Ohio purchased 3,468 homes, a decline of 237 properties - or 6.4 percent - from the same month of 2017, according to listing-service data. December sales were off by 2.3 percent in Cuyahoga County and 10.5 percent in Summit County.

Among counties with at least 100 monthly sales, only Lake and Portage had a better December than they did a year before.

Prices, meanwhile, posted near-universal gains. Across the region, the average sale price for a house was $172,615 in December, up 9.7 percent from a year before. The average sale price for a condo was $152,253, a 5.4 percent gain.

In Cuyahoga County, December’s average sale price was $186,076, a whopping 19.1 percent jump from late 2017.

Homes in the region sold for as much as $1.77 million and as little as $2.500 last month, based on the listing service’s records.

A report on statewide home sales for December and all of 2018 is due out Jan. 22, the same day that the National Association of Realtors expects to release its December existing-home sales data.