This past week brought Dayton real estate into the national spotlight with some interesting news:
While home prices across the U.S. fell slightly in 2011, the Dayton metro area bucked the trend, posting the largest increase in home values among 50 major metros, according to a leading property valuation firm.
Median home prices rose 11.5 percent in the Dayton area to $72,000 last year, California-based ClearCapital reported Monday.
Local home prices appreciated nearly twice as fast as the next two strongest markets, and Dayton was the only metro to post a double-digit gain in home prices, according to the market report.
Before we break out the champagne and start singing Happy Days are Here Again, allow me to be the wet blanket. First things first, this report takes the entire Greater Dayton area into consideration, and as I say with every post, neighborhoods vary so what happens in Santa Clara is not what is happening in South Park which is not what is happening in Tara Estates or Carriage Trails. Okaythen, back to the news and what this means for us as a region. I think this means we are showing signs of some stabilization. We have likely reached the bottom and can now focus on stabilizing our real estate values as a region, although some neighborhoods are going to continue to be hollowed out with foreclosures, vacancies, and demolition. As I said last week, land banking and planned demolition will become a integral part of Dayton’s future for at least the next few years, but I think we can figure longer. I wish it were not so, but I’ve not seen any other way for cities to aggressively fight the combined problems of shrinking population and deteriorating and aging housing stock. I also think that our first-tier suburbs like Huber Heights, Kettering, Trotwood, Riverside, should start developing plans to deal with some of these issues as well. Which brings us to our second bit of news:
Compared to 2010, the number of properties with foreclosure filings in Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Preble counties fell by about 31 percent to 6,131 last year, according to a RealtyTrac’s annual market report released today. On a month-to-month basis, the number dropped nearly 45 percent from November to 525 last month, RealtyTrac reported.
In Clark County, the number of properties with foreclosure filings fell 23 percent to 1,001 last year. In Champaign County, the number fell 71 percent to 74 properties. In Warren County, the number fell 18 percent to 1,481 properties in 2011.
By comparison, the number of properties in the state hit with default notices, auctions or bank repossessions declined 27 percent to 79,422 last year.
… But researchers were quick to point out that processing delays stemming from the so-called robosigning scandal, in which some big banks admitted processing foreclosures without verifying documents, stymied foreclosure activity across the country.
In other words, while we had a respite from mass foreclosure filings, we are still dealing with this mess and will be for a few years, even if it’s not at the levels seen in 2009. Again with the wet blanket: It’s an unpopular opinion, I’m aware, however, if you live next to a foreclosed home, it is in your best interest to keep an eye on the property. I realize it’s not your home, the banks might be the bad guys, etc. however, your property values are determined by the neighborhood and a buyer’s perception is affected by the neighboring properties. You do have an interest in how that property is maintained and cared for. It might not be your job, I get that, but it is your business. I digress…
Overall, these two pieces of news would indicate that the Greater Dayton area, which got slammed hard with foreclosures, declining home values, and shrinking population, appears to have hit the bottom, and the next few years should show continued signs of stabilization to the general area, if not the beginnings of recovery in real estate. Right then, cue-up some Gloria Gaynor for you oldtimers, maybe a little Destiny’s Child for the whippersnappers.
Photos: Teri Lussier