Valley Home Sales Down in January

YOUNGSTOWN – In the first month of 2021, home sales in the Mahoning Valley dropped from December 2020, but are still up from a year ago for the most part.

According to data from Yes-MLS, the 18-county region, which includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, saw 2,791 listings in January, down 35.4% from December. However, sales are still up 6.7% from January 2020.

The average sale price in January also dipped to $197,315, a 2.2% decrease from December, but up 17.5% from January 2020. New listings in the region finished January at 3,247, up 21% from December, but down 21.1% from the same time a year ago.

Mahoning County led the three-county area in listings sold with 169, down from 245 sold in December. The average sale price in January was $163,876, up from $154,993 in December, and up 31.9% from $124,289 in January 2020.

Trumbull County saw 139 listings sold in January, down from 200 in December, but up from 127 sold in January 2020. Houses sold for an average price of $122,976 in January, down from $126,891 in December, but up 9.5% from $112,356 in January 2020.

In Columbiana County, 45 listings were sold, down from 81 in December. Sales were also down 27.4% from 62 sold in January 2020. The average sale price came in at $143,171 in January, down from $161,978 in December, but surging 40.7% from an average sale price of $101,783 in January 2020.

New listing trends seemed to mirror the larger trend as all three counties reported higher new listings in January compared to December. Mahoning County reported the most new listings with 204, up from 145 in December, and up 1.5% from 201 in January 2020.

Trumbull County reported 148 new listings in January, up from 114 in December, but down 12.4% from 169 in January 2020.

In Columbiana County, there were 74 new listings in January, up from 56 in December, but down slightly from 76 in January 2020.

Nationally, the trend seems to be moving in the other direction.

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose again in January, a sign that the housing market’s strong momentum from 2020 may be carrying over into this year.

Existing U.S. house sales rose 0.6% in January from the previous month to a seasonally/adjusted rate of 6.69 million annualized units, the National Association of Realtors said Feb. 19. Sales rose 23.7% from a year earlier. It was the strongest sales pace since October.

House prices also rose. The U.S. median house price was $303,900 in January, an increase of 14.1% from a year earlier.

The red-hot housing market has left the number of available properties for sale at record lows, which has contributed to sharp increases in prices.

At the end of January, there were only 1.04 million houses for sale, a decline of 26% and an all-time low, NAR said. At the current sale pace, that amounts to a 1.9-month supply, down from a 3.1-month supply in January 2020.

The housing market has mounted a strong comeback since last summer after declining sharply in the spring when the coronavirus outbreak hit. Sales surged last year to the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

Several market trends are helping to drive the strong demand for homeownership. Mortgage rates remain at historic lows. Americans forced to work from home in the pandemic are seeking larger houses. And more millennials are now entering the market.

That demand dynamic, combined with a stubbornly low supply of houses for sale, will likely lead to fierce competition among buyers during the traditional homebuying season this spring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.