Central Ohio home sales in 2004 grew almost 10 percent above the total homes sold in 2003, the largest annual increase since 1998, according to the Columbus Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Realtors last year reported the sale of 26,660 homes in the Central Ohio area, up 9.7 percent from the 24,306 homes sold during 2003. In 1998, homes sales jumped 17.4 percent over the previous year

“The lion’s share of homes were sold in what we consider to be the affordable housing range – $125,000 and below,” said Doug McCloud, 2005 president of the Columbus Board of Realtors. “Roughly 60 percent of the homes sold in 2004 fell into this price range. Many of these sales were first-time home buyers who were finally able to realize the dream of home ownership.”

Over $4.5 billion worth of homes changed hands last year, a 12 percent increase over 2003. The average sale price of a home in 2004 was $170,522, up approximately 2.2 percent from $166,928 the previous year. Using the average annual increases, the value of a typical home in Central Ohio has increased about 20 percent over the last five years, according to the association.

The Columbus Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison and Morrow counties, and some of Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion and Pickaway counties.

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