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Dayton-Area Home Sales Up in September, But Downsides Remain

Home sales numbers are out for September, and the greater Dayton area shows an increase of 21 percent compared to September of 2012. The dollar volume in the first nine months of the year, $1.3 billion, also increased 21 percent compared to the first nine months of 2012.

Nancy Farkas of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors says she sees the most growth in places like Kettering, Centerville and Beavercreek. But overall, she says the outlook is positive across the board.

“It is a pretty healthy market in most parts of the Miami Valley,” she said. And she expects steady growth in the coming years.

But Jim McCarthy with the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center sees another side of the housing market in his daily work.

“It is not as robust as maybe we would like to think,” he said of the recovery. For example, while the number of sales is up across the region, prices are basically flat compared to the same time last year. And many people who own homes are still underwater—meaning, they owe more on their homes than they’re actually worth.

“Should folks decide to remain in their homes, it means essentially that they’re going to work the better part of a professional career just to get level,” McCarthy said.

And the problem of deflated home values is more severe within city limits: homes in Dayton are selling for less than half the average price of homes in the greater region. The regional average listed by the Dayton Area Board of Realtors Monday was $124,454, while the real estate site Zillow.com gives the city of Dayton a home value index of $45,600.

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