May 2014 - Star One Realtors

April Closings Surpass Sales from a Year Ago

Home sales in April climbed 4.5% over a year ago providing a solid start into the spring market. 2,022 homes were sold (closed) last month compared to 1,935 in April 2013.
“The Greater Cincinnati housing market has come alive,” said Ken Parchman, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®. “The fact that new listings increasing more than 8% in April compared to March shows that sellers are ready to make a move, providing greater opportunity for buyers.
The March average home selling price climbed to $166,025 vs. $156,676 a year earlier, a 6.0% increase. The average price has increased year-over-year for 26 consecutive months. “This shows that our market is healing after the housing crash. More buyer activity and relatively stable interest rates will continue to push prices higher,” said Parchman.
Local home mortgage rates in April averaged 4.24% for a 30-year fixed rate loan. Even though the rates are up slightly from 3.42% a year ago, they are still at a level that makes purchasing a home very affordable and does not appear to be negatively influencing home sales.
The inventory of homes for sale as of April 30 continued its year-over-year declining trend to 9,232 from 10,148 a year ago, down – 9.0%. However, April inventory increased + 5.1% compared to March 2014. This was a result of an 8.3% increase in new listings in April compared to March 2014.
“Cincinnati was recently ranked 4th by the mortgage website,, for being one of most affordable cities to buy a home,” said Parchman. “We live and work in a stable market with affordable housing opportunities for not only first-time buyers, but those looking to relocate.”
 “With the spring market well underway, there is no better time than now to list your property with a REALTOR®,” said Parchman.
Nationwide, April home sales were up + 1.3% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis, but were down – 6.8% from April 2013.

Six Hot Home Design Trends for Spring 2014
Does the change of seasons have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or maybe you’re looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home’s style? Whatever the case, here are some of this season’s most buzzed-about trends and how you can incorporate them into your next project.
* Wood is the new neutral. This season’s strong trend toward wood textures pairs the warmth, richness and texture of real wood with limitless design flexibility. Think wood-textured textiles, tree-printed wallpapers and embossed soaps that look like wood. Installing engineered wood ceilings and wainscoting can bring the unique look of reclaimed wood into any environment – an easy do-it-yourself project with striking results.
* Ode to the elements. Mother Nature is inspiring design in a big way this year and homeowners are finding unique ways to incorporate rocks, minerals and other natural elements into their home’s design. Try replacing a common-place item like an alarm clock with one encased within a multi-colored agate. Bring this look to the kitchen with a stainless steel backsplash, or swap out run-of-the-mill hardware with mineral-inspired drawer pulls and knobs.
* Contrast in texture. Step aside Pantone, texture is spring’s hottest new color. Homeowners are putting down their paintbrushes and adding interest with texture through high-gloss finishes, metallics, sequins and mirrors. A textured tile wall brings visual and tactile interest, especially when paired with contrasting high-gloss lacquer or low-gloss matte accessories.
* Visual punch. Reawaken the senses this spring by incorporating a striking visual element to the home. Multi-dimensional surface treatments in pearl, metallic and gold/silver combinations add panache as a coating used for hardwood, or can be applied to wallpaper, furniture or decorative accessories. And don’t forget to look up – coffered ceilings bring a striking je ne sais quoi to any room.
* Manipulated metals. The versatility of manipulated metal makes it a great addition to any style home – from hand-crafted artisan to contemporary high gloss. Copper, pewter and nickel are getting in on the action and can be styled in a variety of ways, including hammered metal sink basins, tin-look ceiling tiles, antiqued copper light fixtures and brushed stainless steel cabinet hardware.

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