The housing market "is definitely up in Portage County from the past year" according to Sandy Allen, president of the Portage County Realtors Association.
"For sellers, things are looking a little better," said Allen, a Realtor with Wilbur Century 21 Realty in Kent. "Listings are up, pending sales are up slightly. Time on the market is about the same," she said.
Median prices are rising and sales for the past year are up, just like they are in the northeast region of Ohio.
As of November, the median sales price in Portage was up 22.7 percent from a year ago, according to Allen. She said the year "looked like a roller coaster, but we had a great November."
In Portage County, 90 homes were sold in November, down from 98 the year previous, a decrease of 8.2 percent.
However, the average sales price showed a 20.5 percent change, up from $129,643 to $156,176 according to real estate sources.
One reason is that fewer homes are on the market this time of year. Allen said the inventory for the period between Thanksgiving and New Years tend to be about 15 percent lower than the rest of the year. In Portage, the number of homes for sale was down 8.4 percent this November from a year ago.
In northeast Ohio, sales of new and existing homes were up 15 percent in November, compared with a year ago.
The region's average house price was $129,694, up 12 percent from November 2011, according to data from 15 counties.
Allen said a lot of potential sellers have been trying to wait out the low prices brought on by the recession. Now that the market is warming up, she said she expected more homes to come up for sale in 2013.
Lower inventories are good for sellers and lower interest rates are good for buyers, Allen noted. And people who are looking now are ready to buy, Allen said.
"These are serious buyers. Who goes out just to look?" during the holidays, she said.
Nationwide, existing-home sales continued to improve in November, with low inventories pushing home prices, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Sales rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November. The association said sales are at the highest level since November 2009 when the annual pace spiked at 5.44 million.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,600 in November, up 10.1 percent from a year ago. It was the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year price gain, which last occurred from September 2005 to May 2006.
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