Central Ohio home sales fell 2.8 percent in April from a year ago, as the inventory of for-sale homes soared to an all-time high, according to statistics provided by the Columbus Board of Realtors.

April statistics indicate that 2,192 homes were sold, down from 2,255 sold in April 2005.

There were 5,028 more homes listed in April, bringing the total inventory of homes for sale up to 17,109 — almost 30 percent more homes than were on the market last year at this time, the board reported.

Despite slower sales in April, the 7,614 homes sold in Central Ohio during the first four months of the year is still 5.5 percent ahead of last year at this time.

“Although sales were up in the first quarter, members were commenting that showing activity was slow,” said Chris Reese, president of the Columbus Board of Realtors. “That lack of activity was made apparent by the decrease in homes that went into contract in March (down 12.5 percent from 2005) and the resulting 2.8 percent drop in properties that actually closed last month. The significant drop in properties that went in contract in March and the 24.5 percent decrease in April suggest closings will be down over the next 2-3 months.”

The average price of a home rose in April to $175,932, which is 1.6 percent higher than the same month last year. However, the price of a Central Ohio home year to date is still 1 percent lower than the average selling price one year ago. In addition, homes are taking about 10 percent longer to sell.

“We’ve publicized the fact that we have more homes on the market than buyers to purchase them, yet homeowners continue to list their homes for sale at a staggering pace,” Reese said. “My advice for sellers is price it right and be patient!”

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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