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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fort Thomas Real Estate Update

As I am currently in the process of trying to re-finance my home to a 4.75% interest rate and taking a few years off my loan term I thought it a good time to refresh a few data points on the current housing market in Fort Thomas.

It has been a crazy couple years for the housing market.  A total crash in late 2008 and an associated credit freeze followed by massive rebate programs that began with first time buyers (and then extended to anyone) that recently expired.  So where are we at now?  Most analysts are so uncertain about the path of the housing market that they just shrug their shoulders and hope for the best.

I thought it best to offer up a few data points to evaluate where the Fort Thomas market is:

1. Sales data - I continue to get monthly stats on the market of all the area towns and community surrounding Cincinnati.  Fort Thomas generally ranks near the top of that list in terms of number of sales behind larger and faster growing communities such as Mason and West Chester.  Looking at the sales numbers for Fort Thomas it is clear the market is past the bottom but a return to the sales volumes of 2005 - 06 will not be happening anytime soon.

2. Median Home Price - one of the key characteristics of the current market nationwide is the fact that the lower end of the market is the only part that is seeing any action.  The tax credits are supporting the lower sales prices and with financing still fairly dry for 'jumbo' loans and the additional incentive for first time home buyers the houses that are moving are those with a smaller sales price.  For this reason I look to median price per square foot for a measure of how well the market is supporting price in Fort Thomas.

3. Rental market - one area of the market that does not appear to be doing too poorly is the rental market.  Anectdotally, I have been following Gettysburg Square on Twitter and am surprised that they keep their occupancy rate so high despite what I think of as being expensive rents, especially for an aging apartment complex.  A 1 bedroom for $595?  How about 2 bedroom for $749?  Don't forget a 1 bedroom with den for $729.  Seriously, excluding escrow my house payment would be less than $100 more.

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