In an apparent sign that the housing market is making a turnaround from the Great Recession, more homes sold in Franklin County in 2013 compared to each of the prior five years.
Last year, 1,040 single-family homes sold in the county compared to 961 in 2012; 813, 2011; 864, 2010; 856, 2009; and 944, 2008.
The last time more homes sold in Franklin County was in 2007 when there were 1,204 sales.
The increased home sales show “promising growth” for the county’s housing market, said Matt Borgmann, president of the Franklin County Board of Realtors, who provided the data.
“Confidence is growing,” Borgmann said, adding that he predicts 2014 will be even stronger.
However, home sales can be difficult to predict since they depend on factors such as interest rates. Borgmann does not expect a large spike in interest rates.
The Federal Reserve has indicated that it may soon taper some of its bond buying that was done in the wake of the recession to keep interest rates low.
The average selling prices of the homes was also up in 2013, with the average price being $139,023. That is the highest it has been since 2009.
In 2012 the average selling price was $135,493; 2011, $130,040; and 2010, $136,686.
The average selling price was higher in 2009 when it was $142,332; 2008, $155,372; and 2007, $155,505.
Borgmann said he does not foresee major spikes in house prices this year.
The average days a house was on the market also decreased in 2013 when it was 135 days. In 2012 it was 143 days; 2011, 137 days; 2010, 140 days; 2009, 136 days; and 2008, 136 days. The average days on the market in 2007 was lower in 2007 when it was 124 days.
There is a strong mix of different kinds of buyers, ranging from first-time buyers and empty-nesters looking to downsize, Borgmann noted.
He thinks there is enough housing stock in the county to meet demand as a whole. But he noted that there are certain areas that could use some new developments.
For instance, he said, Washington could possibly use some more affordable housing. Washington has more higher-end developments than other areas and this can exclude some buyers, Borgmann said.
New home construction in unincorporated Franklin County was slightly stronger in 2013 with 91 building permits issued for single-family homes compared to 87 in 2012.
In 2011, 101 permits were issued; 2010, 94; 2009, 106; and 2008, 139.