Toledo housing market improvesWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo is one of several metropolitan areas that have experienced improved housing markets recently, according to the First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) released Dec. 6 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The number of improving markets continued to expand with 20 new additions on the IMI list in December, including Toledo and Canton, Ohio; Ann Arbor, Mich. Fort Wayne, Ind. and Washington, D.C.
“The increases we continue to see in the number and geographic diversity of improving markets are quite encouraging and evidence of the fact that all housing markets are dependent on uniquely local factors,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a homebuilder from Reno, Nev.
Nielsen said 21 states and the District of Columbia are represented on the improving markets list in December, up from 14 states in November.
“The December IMI results are in keeping with the latest government housing data and our own builder surveys, which have shown modest signs of improvement in certain individual markets where employment is gaining and distressed properties are not as numerous,” NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said.
“These gradual improvements are now becoming evident not just in small, energy-producing metros that have previously dominated the IMI, but also in several larger markets and areas with more diverse economies,” Crowe said.
The IMI index is designed to track housing markets that are showing signs of improved economic health. It identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement in the number of home building permits, growing employment and price appreciation or increase in home values for at least six consecutive months.
Bill Brennan, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Toledo, said this area has seen some improvement in the housing market in 2011.
The Toledo metropolitan market usually builds from 1,500 to 2,000 new homes per year, but has averaged only 400 annually during the past three years, according to James Moline, president of James E. Moline Builders and past president of the local HBA.
“There has been so much pent up demand from the past three years. Those people didn’t go away but just delayed their purchases. Many of those people are now looking to buy homes,” Moline said.
He said his company has sold 13 villas in the Brooklyn Park development on Dorr Street in the past nine months. The villas for seniors age 55-plus sell in the range from $120,000 to $130,000.
Moline Builders has seven homes under construction at the Deer Valley development in Monclova Township in the $300,000 to $600,000 range. Moline said the company has additional homes under construction in Sylvania in the $900,000 to $2 million range.
“Construction costs are down now so it’s a good time to build a home,” Moline said.
He also said if the housing market continues to recover, it could create a problem since the number of builders and skilled tradespeople is down about 50 percent in the Toledo market. Demand could eventually outpace the supply of new homes, Moline said.
“Consumer confidence is rising and the job market is improving here. Everyone is busy which is very unusual for real estate in December,” said Barbara Stout of the Danberry Company, who was instated as president of the Toledo Board of Realtors on Dec. 1.
“Interest rates are historically low and good news creates more good news. We hope 2012 will continue to grow and be another successful year,” Stout said.
Home sales in the Toledo market have shown modest improvement during 2011, according to information supplied by the Northwest Ohio Real Estate Information System (NORIS) Multiple Listing Service.
NORIS reports that 5,838 single-family homes have been sold in the Northwest Ohio MLS market year-to-date in 2011, an increase of 2 percent over the 5,719 sold during the same period in 2010. Home sales increased 10 percent compared to last November with an increase of 6 percent in the average prices in November 2011.
The total volume of home sales increased by 1 percent from $588 million in 2010 to $592 million in 2011. The average price of homes sold fell 1 percent from $102,849 in 2010 to $101,496 in 2011.