Home sales, inventory declines in Bryan and Williams County in April | Local News


A life-changing decision like buying a home can be difficult to come to under normal circumstances.

As one might expect, with people out of work and uncertainty abounding, home sales were down in northwest Ohio, including Williams County and the city of Bryan specifically, year-over-year in April 2020, according to Northwest Ohio Realtors.

“While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is expected that social distancing, higher unemployment and lower overall economic activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term,” stated a release from the Northwest Ohio Realtors organization.

“At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.”

In Williams County, new listings for single-family homes fell only slightly from 46 in April 2019 to 32 in April 2020. At the same time, pending sales dropped from 49 to 33, and closed sales from 36 to 27.

Still, perhaps speaking more to homeowner sentiment than sales, total inventory was down over the same time period, from 122 to 101, a drop of about 17.2 percent.

However, Williams County bucked the days-on-market increase trend and actually dropped from 119 to 111.

Average sale price rose from $97,902 to $124,198, about 26.9 percent.

In Bryan, the declines were a bit sharper. The 21 new listings in April 2019 were nearly cut in half in April 2020, to 11, while pending sales dropped from 25 to 16, closed sales from 18 to 11 and days on market rose from 110 to 128.

Additionally, the average price rose from $89,944 to $122,905, an increase of 36 percent.

Total inventory of homes for sale fell 38 percent, from 50 to 31, marking a sharper decrease than the county as a whole.

Carlin Company Realtor TJ Zimmerman indicated his own personal volume was “nearly identical” to April 2019, attributing that largely to his own experience in the area as well as still historically low interest rates, at 3% to 3.5% for a 15-20 year loan.

However, he indicated the method of doing business has changed substantially.

“We’ve seen it impacted about how we’ve had to conduct business — keeping distance, not parading them through the home, asking people not to touch things if you don’t have to,” he said. “Normally you’d talk, chat and say ‘Do your thing.’”

Zimmerman said he has encouraged clients to leave lights on and doors open for showings to decrease contact, as well as encouraging those viewing a home to remove their shoes and wear masks. Many home owners, he said, have left out hand sanitizer for visitors as well.

“We do a lot more via computer,” he said.

Zimmerman said he doesn’t believe the long-term, larger scale issue will equate in his industry to the systemic financial crisis of the late 2000s, though he admitted larger national trends may eventually hit home if workers are kept from their jobs.

“Real estate isn’t always right in the moment, it could take a month or two to see a downswing,” he said. “I think if we don’t get back to somewhat normalcy, I think it will affect us, but it would be three, six, nine months down the road.”

New listings of single-family homes were down by 34.8 percent overall for counties including Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Putnam and Williams, with 201 in 2019 and 131 in 2020, according to Northwest Ohio Realtors.

Closed sales were down 17.1 percent over the same time period, from 152 to 126.

Average days on market increased 7.2 percent, from 97 to 104, while the median sale price climbed 30.2 percent, from 98,250 to $127,950, and the average sale price jumped 5.7 percent, from $119,014 to $137,680.


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