Is the Morrow County real estate market hot – or not?

By Alberta Stojkovic

June 10, 2014

The Morrow County Chamber of Commerce took a look at the numbers in the real estate market over the past ten years with realtor, Patti Jackson. At the May Chamber meeting, Jackson compared the statistics for average sale prices in 2005 when the market was at its peak and this spring.

Jackson noted that there are several factors that figure into changes in the market. After the big 2008 recession many homes had foreclosures and some of those people are looking to buy again. Even with the larger down payments that banks require, they are now able to buy.

2013 was a record year for Jackson and her team at RE/MAX Genesis. Last year was the highest number of sales in the region for her business with 74 personal transactions for Jackson. She called it a “banner record” for Herb Baldwin and her team. She said the demand is up, the interest rate for loans is 4 ½ percent and the government still has zero-down money loans available. There are not as many HUD loans or short sales this year with only 16 that were bank owned, compared to 37 last year at this time.

Some of the numbers Jackson looked at were the number of listings, the numbers sold, the average sales price and the number of days on the market. The number that she emphasized was the low number of houses and listings on the market now, 137, compared to 2005 when there were 200 listings on the market.

Of the 137 total listings in the county, 89 are current active listings and 48 more are in contract and pending listings. With just 137 signs in the yard, Jackson said it is an all-time low for home listings. Properties are in contract sometimes a day after they’ve been listed. She said some of the shortage is due to the fact that people are coming out of bankruptcy and have been living in rentals.

This year-to-date, out of 137 listings there was a total of 72 properties sold at an average sales price of $132,109. In 2005 out of 400 listings on the market there were 92 properties sold year-to-date at an average price of $132,306. This year-to-date the properties are on the market an average of 180 days compared to 2005 when houses were on the market an average of 163 days.

“We need listings,” said Jackson as she encouraged anyone who might consider selling to get their home on the market. There is also a need for lots and quite a few new builds in the county.

Jackson invited Chamber members to “come out and celebrate with RE/MAX Genesis 10 year anniversary party on June 21, 2014.” It will be at the RE/MAX office in Mount Gilead from 5-8 p.m. There will be food, games and entertainment. All donations for the event will benefit United Way.

The next Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon meeting will be Tues. June 17th at the Morrow County Hospital. The speaker will be Jeff Thompson, Mount Gilead Schools Superintendent.