By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research
The latest survey of Ohio REALTORS shows an 8 percent increase in the number of real estate professionals reporting that residential appraisals are coming in higher than a year ago. According to OAR’s March 2016 housing confidence survey findings, 53 percent of respondents indicate appraisals are higher compared to last year. Last year, when the same question was asked, slightly fewer (45 percent) indicated appraisals were higher in their area. Also, this year 40 percent indicate appraisals have stayed the same and seven percent are noticing appraisals coming in lower in their area.
Survey results are based on responses to a monthly survey, designed to capture the effects of the existing economic conditions and trends on the real estate industry, sent to a pool of 1,500 OAR participants. Click here to participate in future OAR Housing Confidence Surveys.
By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth
For the past few weeks, I have been compelled to write about meditation. Each time I would have the thought, my internal editor would come in with “too woo-woo” resounding in my head. This week, however, I have overridden this to bring you a simplistic rationale regarding meditation.
Hello, my name is Marilou and I am a meditator! There — let’s get that out of the way! My meditation practice has varied over the years and I still change parts of it. Meditation can be easy and the benefits are vast. See if any of these appeal to you:
- Reduces stress
- Helps you focus
- Improves your overall health, especially related to blood pressure
- Gives you vitality
- Slows aging
- Generates more happiness
These are just a few reasons that you may want to consider a consistent meditation practice. And…I know the #1 reason for resistance is “I don’t have time.” Well, I can tell you personally that my time and how I spend it is greatly improved from meditation.
Another reason for not meditating I typically hear is “I don’t know how.” There are countless, and I do mean countless methods of meditation. If you want to start small, I would suggest you set a timer for five to 10 minutes and just breathe. That’s it — take some lovely deep breaths and notice your breathing. Pay attention to your inhale and your exhale. I prefer breathing in and out through my nose, however, do what feels best to YOU!
Remember, if you are new to this, it takes practice. Your mind has been thinking and thinking for many years so be patient and kind to yourself, and once you feel comfortable with five to 10 minutes, you can decide how you want to proceed. If you want some further ideas, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.
Marilou is a member of the OAR Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you: Marilou@mbr-group.com
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel provided REALTORS attending OAR’s Spring Legislative Conference, April 18-20, an overview of his offices’ efforts to bring transparency to the government expenditures via ohiocheckbook.com – which his office created to give taxpayers access to see how money is being spent by state and local governments, as well as school districts.
By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in March 2016 reached a best-ever level for the month, increasing 9.8 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago.
Ohio’s March Pending Home Sales Index of 170.3, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 9.8 percent from March 2015 (155.1). Activity in March increased 14.6 percent from the pace of agreements reached in February 2016 (148.6).
The pending sale index posted during the first quarter 2016 (154.1) reached a best-ever mark for the first three months, increasing 9.7 percent from the level posted during first quarter 2015 (140.5).
“The Ohio housing marketplace is continuing to exhibit tremendous strength, as the number of homes put under contract in March reached an all-time high for the month and marks our 23rd consecutive monthly year-over-year gain,” said OAR President Sara Calo. “The industry is hopeful that the momentum that’s been established during the first quarter of 2016 will continue as we move forward.”
Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, March’s Index score of 170.3 marks a 70.3 increase.
A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.
OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 29,000 members, is the only organization that compiles this state wide information from selected Multiple Listing Services each month. The tracking of “pending sales” provides reliable information about where the market is heading in coming months.
Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, and David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, served as the keynote speakers at the Ohio Association of REALTORS Spring Legislative Conference, April 18-20, in Columbus. The leaders discussed the 2016 election — offering insights on the Presidential election and what the possible match-ups will mean for their respective political party.