You’ve heard the stories: multiple offers, bidding wars, closings. Maybe you’ve even seen it on your street, or had it happen for you. But is it true? “Based on the statistics from last year, I would absolutely say yes, the market is back,” says Mike Spicer, president Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors. Those statistics show that in 2013, nearly 20 percent more homes sold in the Greater Cincinnati region than in 2012. (The national year-over-year expansion? A not-too-shabby 9.1 percent.) Total sales volume rose, the average sale price rose more than 5.75 percent, and inventory and days-on-market numbers are both down.
So what happened? According to Shaun Bond, director of the University of Cincinnati’s Real Estate Center, the rebound in the real estate market is a reflection of the economy as a whole, especially in terms of employment growth. “That was one of the big drivers of the downturn,” he says. “People were concerned about their jobs.” As wages return to pre-recession levels, people are more confident and more willing to enter the housing market again.
Of course, there’s nothing like personal anecdotal evidence to solidify that healthy market feeling. When we examined local real estate in these pages back in 2008, my home in Pleasant Ridge was on the market—and it didn’t sell for a solid year. We put it back on the market last October, got an offer in April, and finally closed on May 30. Things are definitely looking up.