MAUMEE — Although realtors normally experience a slower winter season, the last quarter of 2020 proved that the insatiable real estate market is willing to defy previous industry trends.

December is normally one of the slowest months of the year but strong buyer demand across most segments of the market — buoyed by near-record low interest rates — continues to drive a healthy sales pace in the face of a new wave of COVID-19 infections and a softening jobs market.

With low mortgage rates and strong buyer demand in most market segments, the housing market of early 2021 looks to continue the trends observed in the second half of 2020.

Low inventory and multiple offers on in-demand properties are likely to remain common, while the market waits for a boost in new construction and a surge in home sellers to help provide more balance.

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 the last quarter of 2020, new listings in northwest Ohio fell slightly after a minor increase the previous month. Compared to fourth-quarter 2019, new listings were down 1.6%.

Following the trends observed in the months before, closed sales continued to outpace previous quarterly numbers, reflecting an increase of 14.3% (2,495 total) from fourth quarter 2019.

This quarter, homes averaged 72 days on the market — a 19.5% decrease from the same time last year. Additionally, homes sold in the area are receiving an average of 99.4% of the listing price, up from the fourth-quarter average of 98% in 2019.

In northwest Ohio, the median home price in the fourth-quarter was $153,133 — down slightly from the third-quarter of 2020, but a substantial increase from the same time in 2019 ($135,650).

Inventory continues to decline, which has ensured the continuation of a strong sellers’ market. This inventory decline has been predicted by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). However, these numbers are very unusual for so late in the season.

According to NAR, 2021 could be “the best year ever to buy.” The consistently fast-paced market and record low mortgage rate should be a winning combination for Americans looking to continue their homeownership journey.

Comprehensive housing reports for northwest Ohio can be found by visiting the NOR website — nworealtors.com. Call the NOR office at 419-535-3222 for more information about these reports.

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