Good news keeps coming for local housing market - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Good news keeps coming for local housing market

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The Ohio Association of Realtors reports the number of agreements on single-family homes and condos in July rose for the 27th consecutive month. The association says it's a trend that clearly shows buyers are regaining confidence in the housing market.

But is it the same story here in Northwest Ohio? Local realtors and mortgage brokers we spoke with say business continues to pick up. They're seeing a lot more multiple offers than they have since the housing market took a plunge. Home prices also continue to increase locally as well as the number of sales.

Drive down a lot of Northwest Ohio streets and you'll see for sale signs, but realtors say many of the homes aren't on the market as long as they have been in the last few years and prices continue to climb. Michelle Nieman is with Danberry Realtors, "It seemed to happen suddenly, it wasn't a gradual change. One day things just picked up. The number of short sales has greatly diminished as well as the number of foreclosures as well."

Nieman has been a realtor for more than two decades, "A lot of first time buyers have jumped into the market which is a good trend. That allows the sellers of the homes to move up to the next level. It's the spin-off effect which we have been waiting for the last few years. It's one of the good things happening in the local market in the last few months."

Like everything else during the recession, Nieman's numbers were down, but her business continues to grow. In fact, she's posted impressive increases the last couple years, "My business is ahead of last year and last year was a good year. In the last 90 days things are dramatically up from what they had been."

Martha Ednie says business is also growing at Apex Mortgage, "This year we should be up 30% from last year and last year we were probably up 500% from 2011!"

Ednie says bidding wars are back, "The purchase market is finally getting more competitive. I have people who are pre-approved who are having trouble getting their offers accepted because of multiple offers, which is something we haven't seen in recent years."

Both Nieman and Edie say now is still a great time to buy because of relatively low interest rates, although the rates have been on the way up, and they expect that to continue happening in the coming months.  Even though they are inching up, Ednie says she doesn't expect interest rates to be much above 6% next year.

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