CINCINNATI (TDB) -- New data from the National Board of Realtors shows existing housing sales were down from a year ago, but the OHIO numbers aren't totally bleak and Dayton actually saw an increase in home prices. The state was just about in line with the overall national dip of 10.1%. Ohio dropped 10.3%.
Economist David Lereah predicts the housing cycle has bottomed out and sees prices rising this spring. "This information confirms 2006 was the year of contraction. and hopefully the fourth quarter was the bottom of the current business cycle. Home sales are leveling at historically high levels, and examination of data within the quarter shows home prices stabilizing toward the end. When we get the figures for this spring, I expect to see a discernible improvement in both sales and prices," said Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
The national median price for a home in the 4th quarter was $219,000, down from $225,00 a year earlier. The best deals on homes in Ohio -- Youngstown, Boardman, Warren -- boasted a median price of $80,000.
For the Midwest, total existing home sales dipped 8.6% and the median price was $181,600. But Dayton had one of the region's strongest housing markets, with prices climbing to $119,500, a 5.9% increase from the end of 2005.