Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors

December home sales in the Cincinnati area were up from a year ago, but not by much. 

The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors reports 1,616 sales last month, compared with 1,608 in December 2013.  Northern Kentucky Realtors say their gain was similar: 397 sales in December of 2014, and 388 in December 2013.

However, total sales for 2014 are different for the two sides of the river.  In Ohio, there was a drop in sales of 1.7 percent , while Northern Kentucky sales grew by 1.84 percent.

Realtors from both groups are optimistic though.

Home sales in the Cincinnati area lost momentum last month, declining more than 14 percent from a year ago. The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors said the number of homes sold year to date is down as well, by almost 3 percent. Despite the decline, CABR president Ken Parchman said Greater Cincinnati continues to be a solid, viable market. "Even though August unit sales were down, 2014 is continuing to mimic 2013 home sales, which recorded the highest number of sales in the past seven years," said Parchman.

Local realtors say they saw another drop in business last month, likely the leftover effect of the extreme winter weather.  Home sales fell 8 percent in the Cincinnati area compared to March 2013.  Northern Kentucky closings were off by 7 percent.  

Sales were down more than 6 percent across Ohio.  Chris Hall, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors had this take:  

You can blame the winter weather for last month's slowdown in the housing market.  Home sales in Ohio were off 4.3 percent compared to a year ago when the weather wasn't as harsh.  It was the second consecutive month statewide closings dropped.

“A survey of the state’s real estate professionals conducted during the month found that two-thirds of respondents indicated that the cold, snowy conditions resulted in a marked decline in home buying activity," said Chris Hall, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors, in a statement.

Area realtors say 2013 ended on a high note for home sales.  The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors is reporting December closings rose 14.2 percent compared to a year earlier.  For the entire year, sales increased 20.84 percent.  The average home price rose 5.75 percent last year to $165,037.  

"The Greater Cincinnati Housing Market continues to improve at a moderate rate," said Ken Parchman, President of the CABR, in a statement.  "Our low inventory coupled with relatively low interest rates and stronger demand pushed the average price higher."

Home sales in Cincinnati ended last year at the highest level since 2007.  The Area Board of Realtors says closings were up 12 percent from 2011.  December home sales rose more than 5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.