YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Housing prices are going up again. A new survey by the National Association of Realtors says in the first three months of this year, the average price for a home was nearly seven 7 percent higher than in 2016.
Economists say a healthy job market is creating demand, and a lack of new construction is making it a seller’s market.
Realtors here in the Valley say those trends are true for the local housing market. Fun and exciting are the words used by a local realtor to describe the current local housing market.
Cindy Lautzenheiser with Howard Hanna Realty said she has seen the market this robust since the recession. She said it is a seller’s market, meaning inventory is down and there are a lot of buyers. Properties are selling at a premium fast with multiple offers.
It’s a situation that buyers aren’t used to and need to be prepared. Lautzenheiser suggests finding a good agent. Since prices are high, it is important to know if the house you want it priced right and a realtor can help with that.
It also helps to have a pre-approval letter from a lender. Lautzenheiser said it’s one of the first things you should do if you’re thinking about buying a house.
“Properties are moving quickly. If we have to wait one or two days for your approval to come through, more likely than not you are going to lose that hot property,” Lautzenheiser said.
A lot of Lautzenheiser’s clients now are millennials. A boost in the local economy is allowing college graduates to find jobs here in the Valley, and it’s changing the local housing market in a big way.
Millennials often times get stereotyped as being uninterested in buying a home, but new data says otherwise. In fact, Zillow, an online real estate database company, created a separate website marketed specifically for millennials and first-time home buyers, which make up 42 percent of home buyers. That particular group has specific needs.
“They are looking at paint, light fixtures, curtains, carpeting. They want move-in ready. Lifestyles are busy and everyone is working crazy hours, so they don’t have time and they may not know how to do upgrades,” Lautzenheiser said.
In Mahoning County, millennials account for 43 percent of home buyers. In Columbiana County, the number jumps up to 65 percent.