A Tri-State Turnaround

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    Thinking about making a move now that the real estate market is back on the mend? Now may be the time to do so. Whether you’re buying or selling, things are looking up, according to Andrea Lucke de Stefano, vice president of sales at Comey and Shepherd Realtors.


    A lot has changed since the housing crisis, Lucke says, and Cincinnati has seen its fair share. In the last several months, she adds, the market has transitioned from a buyer’s market to a seller’s since the over abundance of homes available for sale recently fell to a more normal balance.


    When compared to just two years ago, housing inventory is low. “In 2011, there was a 12-16 monthly supply of homes and now there’s just a 5-6 month supply,” explains Lucke.


    The transition into a seller’s market and low inventory is driving up home prices and helping to increase home values. “Values have adjusted depending on areas and school districts,” Lucke adds.


    Homeowners are getting out of their properties faster, in under 30 days, and buyers are finding homes both priced to sell and updated. Another bonus for homeowners is the rising value in their properties, although that number relies on other criteria.


    Lucke says construction on new homes in Cincinnati is also peaking. “I personally have a family business that has been in business for more than 60 years and we most certainly have experienced the downturn in housing,” she added. “But, over the last eight months, new construction is at an all-time high because of a lack of existing inventory.”


    Home prices for the Cincinnati real estate market are also on the rise due to the low inventory. Homebuyers are eager to pay more for a home they want before it can be swept up by another buyer or land them in a bidding war.


    Some of the biggest markets in Cincinnati headed toward a full recovery are Mason, Lakota, Sycamore and Little Miami. These areas are not only in excellent-rated school districts, but they’re also cities that are revitalizing and revamping the town and area, Lucke says.


    Another bonus for buyers hitting the market is historically low interest rates. Although they’ve been on the rise recently, they’re still remarkably low and something to take advantage of.


    “Inventory levels are expected to stay low through the end of the year, making it a good time to sell a home,” Lucke explains. “However, interest may see a slight up swing which may get more buyers off the fence from purchase now rather than later.”


    No matter if you’re looking to buy or sell a home, consider doing it soon. Interest rates on mortgages won’t stay this low forever, Lucke says, and rising home prices due to low inventory won’t be around for years to come. Although it’s a seller’s market, buyers can still get great deals and obtaining a lower mortgage rate will save you more money in the long run.


    If you aren’t sure whether or not now is a good time to enter the housing market, talk with a local real estate agency. You can also visit a number of websites including Zillow, Trulia and the National Association of Home Builders to learn more about how the market is doing in your area.