For the first time in several years, the average sales price of a home in the Mansfield area has topped $100,714 for a year-to-date period. It was a long time coming.
Back during the real estate boom year of 2005, home prices in the Mansfield Multiple Listing Service region averaged $106,598, only to reach a recessionary low four years later of $78,306. Since then prices here have been on a long, slow (often imperceptibly slow) recovery, which finally began to gain momentum this year.
According to the Ohio Association of Realtors, the average sale price of a home in the Mansfield MLS climbed to $100,714 for the first nine months of 2014, up 15.4 percent from the average of $87,288 at the same point last year.
In fact, average prices are up year to date in all 20 regions of the state the OAR monitors, and are now above $100,000 in all of them except Marion ($97,803). The highest average home price can be found in the Columbus MLS, at $184,483.
The year-to-date price hike of 15.4 percent in Mansfield is well above the state average of 4.6 percent, and second highest among the 20 MLS zones, behind Knox County.
Home sales, meanwhile, have leveled off, or are even dropping slightly, both in the Mansfield area and statewide.
For the year to date, sales are down 6.7 locally compared to the first nine months of 2013, worse than the average statewide decline of 3.5 percent.
“The market is redirecting itself to a more normal sales pattern,” Debra Jones, president of the Mansfield Association of Realtors, said. “The Ohio Association of Realtors is projecting that the numbers will be slightly lower than 2013. The first quarter started out slow due to the extreme weather conditions.”
“Through the three-quarter mark of 2014 the Ohio housing market has been able to display modest stability in the overall level of sales activity and healthy growth in pricing,” OAR president Chris Hall said.
“It’s evident that we’re continuing to make significant progress in re-establishing a solid foundation for the state’s housing sector. Throughout the year, our marketplace appears to have settled into a more traditional cycle, with minor variances in activity levels due to current market factors.”
For September only, home sales in Mansfield were up 12.9 percent from last September, with the average sales price up to $110,031, 7.6 percent higher than September 2013, trends consistent with most other MLS regions across Ohio for the month. But monthly statistics can exhibit considerable volatility compared to year-to-date numbers.
There were 605 properties in some stage of foreclosure in Mansfield in September, according to RealtyTrac, up from 594 in August. As a percentage of all property filings, foreclosures in Mansfield were lower than both the state and national ratios.
Mansfield’s highest concentration of foreclosed properties last month, one in every 1,035, was in ZIP code area 44905, east of downtown.
The average rate on a 30-year mortgage in Ohio is presently 3.80 percent, below the average of 4.01 percent a year ago. Mortgage rates have remained low despite the fact the Federal Reserve has been phasing out its bond-buying program, considered partially responsible for keeping rates low.
Those purchases are scheduled to stop completely this week, sending mortgage rates up slightly; 38 percent of outstanding mortgage securities are owned by the Fed.