AP NEWS

Northeast Ohio home sales up 1.6 percent in 2017; prices rise 6 percent (interactive maps)

January 17, 2018 GMT

Northeast Ohio home sales up 1.6 percent in 2017; prices rise 6 percent (interactive maps)

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Northeast Ohio home sales rose by 1.6 percent last year, as buyers braved tight inventory and rising prices to purchase 766 more houses and condominiums than they did during 2016.

Annual average sale prices, meanwhile, climbed a whopping 6 percent - a notable increase for this region, though far shy of the sharp growth that busier cities in the South and on the coasts have experienced during the extended housing recovery.

A year-end report from the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service shows that sales of new and previously owned homes were up 1.6 percent in Cuyahoga County, 0.9 percent in Summit County and 3.9 percent in Lorain County last year. Among the 18 counties the listing service tracks, only three - Medina, Mahoning and Tuscarawas - experienced a decline in purchases.

Seventeen counties saw annual average sale prices jump.

The one exception was Coshocton County, where fewer than two dozen homes change hands, on average, each month. The annual average sale price there fell 2.3 percent, to $107,353. But with a relatively modest number of sales, a few transactions - at the high or low end - can have an outsize impact on the numbers.

Homes in the region sold for as little as $800 and as much as $4.8 million - for a Hunting Valley mansion - during 2017, according to the listing service’s records.

The report spans the majority of home sales, though it doesn’t capture properties marketed directly by their owners or those that change hands quietly - between family members, lenders and, occasionally, privacy-seeking high-end buyers, for example - without formal listings.

Looking at December, alone, sales were up 0.8 percent from a year before. Single-family homes drove that gain, as condo sales slipped. Homebuyers boosted traffic from December 2016 in 12 counties, including Cuyahoga and Summit. Year-end sales softened in Ashtabula, Carroll, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Stark counties.

In December, the average sale price for a house was $157,415, up 4.3 percent from a year before. The average sale price for a condo was $144,409, for an 11.9 percent increase from December 2016.