MAUMEE — In stark contrast with previous years, January 2021 started off strong for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals.

The robust market experienced in December points to an active year for new construction, but higher material costs, especially lumber, and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s January research estimates approximately 2.7 million homeowners with mortgages are currently in forbearance plans.

Some of these homes may eventually come to market, but given the strong appreciation in most market segments in recent years, these eventual home sales are likely to be mostly traditional sellers. However, a modest increase in short sales and foreclosures at some point this year would not be surprising.

Northwest Ohio Realtors (NOR) has more than 1,800 members dedicated to serving the needs of home sellers and buyers in northwest Ohio and the surrounding area, including Lucas, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance, Williams, Hancock, Wyandot, Paulding and Putnam counties.

In January, new listings in northwest Ohio declined after the notable December increase. Compared to January 2020, new listings were down 6.9%.

Following the trends observed in the months before, closed sales continued to outpace previous monthly numbers, reflecting an increase of 9.9% (624 total) from January 2020.

This January, homes averaged 78 days on the market — a 17% decrease from the same time last year. Additionally, homes sold in the area are receiving an average of 99.1% of the listing price, up from the January 2020 average of 97.1%.

In northwest Ohio, the median home price in January 2021 was $145,000 — down slightly from December 2020, but a substantial increase from the same time in 2020 (up 15.9%). This continues to follow the national trend of rising year-to-date prices identified by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Inventory continues to decline, which has ensured the continuation of a strong sellers’ market. The January market sees five months of supply inventory which is down 28.6% from the same time in 2020. This inventory decline has been predicted by NAR, however, these numbers continue to defy industry trends for the winter market.

According to the National Association of REALTORS, 2021 could be “the best year ever to buy.” Realtors who have become accustomed to the new, fast-paced market and record low mortgage rate should be a winning combination for Americans looking to become homeowners.

Comprehensive housing reports for Northwest Ohio can be found by visiting the NOR website — nworealtors.com.

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