Home Sales, Prices Rise in Northeast Ohio

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Nearly 40 thousand homes were sold in Northeast Ohio in 2012 – up from just over 33,000 in 2011, or an increase of 14.5 percent. The average price those homes fetched also rose, from about $120,000 to roughly $128,000 – a 6.5 percent increase.

The reporting area includes 15 Northeast Ohio Counties.

Thomas Williams is President of the Ohio Association of Realtors, and says his group is cautiously optimistic that the housing recovery will hold in 2013. But he says some are worried about new lending restrictions that may come about as federal regulation of the financial sector tightens.

Williams: “You can purchase a home through FSH with a 3.5 percent as a down payment, conventional financing with 5 percent as a down payment at a minimum. If a regulation goes into place where a homeowner has to have 20 percent down, that’s going to immediately have a huge impact. And of course we’re hoping that does not pass through Congress.”

Williams says realtors are wary of another idea that’s been floating around Congress as a way to help shore up the federal deficit - eliminate the mortgage interest tax deduction. He says that also would put the brakes on home-buying.

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