Known as the “Gem City” and the “Birthplace of Aviation”, Dayton, Ohio was incorporated in 1805 – named after Jonathan Dayton, who not only served as a captain in the American Revolutionary War, but also signed the U.S. Constitution.
Orville and Wilbur Wright – a/k/a the “Wright Brothers” were from this fair city, which also gave birth to the cash register – an invention devised in 1879 by James J. Ritty, a “Daytonian” business owner as an effort to stop his patrons from helping themselves to the till.
As of November, 2011 Dayton home prices were low, while homes sales continued to creep along as more homeowners began to face the fact that they weren’t going to get the higher prices they were hoping for. Local realtors expect the trend to follow suit in 2012.
Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller housing price index noted large drops throughout 19 of the 20 major cities they studied.
David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee stated that “Atlanta and the Midwest are regions that really stand out in terms of recent relative weakness. These markets were some of the strongest during the spring/summer buying season.”
Jesse Livesay, CEO of the Dayton Area Board or Realtors noted that sales rose a good 12.4 percent in November of 2011 when compared to the same time frame of 2010. The increase had occurred five months in a row as well.
Sales prices have fallen, which is the likely reason for the increased sales. In November, 2011, the average selling price was at $115,700 – one-half of one percent compared to November of the year previous.
The median sales price for the same month increased to a very affordable $91,250 from the same time in 2010.
Said Livesay, “I think sellers are really becoming more realistic in terms of pricing their homes.”
The forecast for 2012, according to Livesay, is that sales will continue to rise.“At what level, depends on the state of the economy, continued increase in local employment and the fantastic interest rates now available” said Livesay.
Mike Royce, a Dayton area realtor said, “It is totally a buyers’ market, no question about it.” Royce believes that short sales and foreclosures will continue this year. This would obviously put a lot of pressure downward on home prices.
The Dayton area has 105 schools spread among 14 school districts. The average rating on Trulia.com for area schools is 3.7 out of 10. Some bright stars include Valley Forge Elementary and Horace Mann Elementary School, among many others.
There are many opportunities for higher education in Dayton. For example Wright State University, which is an award winning school, was honored for their innovation in the arts, and the University of Dayton, a Catholic school, offers a wide variety of curriculum including business and law. There are also many other community colleges and trade schools in the area.
Time will tell if the forecast given by area realtors is correct. The conditions for real estate to thrive have always been tied to employment outlook. If economic signs in Ohio and the country as a whole begin to show signs of improvement, this will obviously have a positive impact on real estate in Dayton as well as other metropolitan areas.
“Housing sales are tied to jobs,” notes Gene Snavley, CEO at the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. “If we have improvement in jobs, we’re going to have improvement in housing numbers.”
It seems then, as far as Dayton is concerned, that both investors and homebuyers who are willing to gamble that the region, which has given birth to many innovative individuals, will rebound at some point in the future, will have a lot of fantastic bargains to choose from.