Little Miami School District Home Value Review 2005 - 2011
This is a no spin zone. We're not CNN, MSNBC, Fox or whatever your particular station of choice is to get the slant that agrees with your perception of the world. Instead, we're Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday, "Just the facts ma'am". Our apologies for the length of the post, but hang with us and you'll see why.
And these facts are unfiltered, no special manipulations to make them dance or sing, but just a straight data pull from the Cincinnati MLS for home sales since 2005. Of course this table represents ONLY homes listed with a REALTOR® since those are the only homes posted for sale in Cincinnati MLS.
A few definitions to clarify before we start the review:
- Homes sold full year: The NUMBER of homes sold Jan 1 - Dec 31
- Homes sold first seven months: The NUMBER of homes Sold Jan 1 - July 31
- Average price: Take all homes, add them together, divide by Quantity for Average price (this number can be skewed by exceptionally HIGH or LOW sales prices)
- Median price: Take all homes and sort high to low, go 1/2 way up the list and that price is the median (perhaps more representative of true market performance)
- Days on Market (DOM): Number of days from a home being placed on the market to an ACCEPTED contract and home is marked PENDING. For Cincinnati MLS, take with a grain of salt. Getting a new MLS number restarts the counter, so the DOM reported here are LOW vs. actuality, but still useful for spotting trends.
So what is this table telling us?
- That the quantity of homes sold has dropped approximately 1/3 since 2005.
- That the average price has dropped 18% and the median price 14%.
- That for the most part that homes are taking longer to sell than 2005.
But the left hand side of the table only provides a full year to year comparison, so what's happening THIS YEAR? Well that's where the table on the right comparing first seven months of each year is useful, and here the news is particularly brutal:
Home values in Little Miami School District dropped 10% in since 2010 in both Average and Median prices. That's easily the worst decline we've seen in our market area for a comparable period of time.
And perhaps there are other factors involved in this decline, but we have NOT seen a massive increase in Little Miami School District foreclosures and short sales over the last year, mass exodus by employers NOR some Crazy Eddie type fire sales by new home builders. Homes sold over the last three years when comparing the first seven months of each year have been almost constant (254 to 258), with ONLY the prices dropping.
Now we could be wrong, but we're going to connect this rapid decline in Little Miami School District Home Values to the continuing turmoil regarding the school district levies repeated failure to pass and the current school district being under Ohio state control.
Here's the bottom line, school quality is a primary driver in desirability for housing. Parents don't want to risk their kids education on schools in turmoil, schools with no bus service, schools with program cutbacks. Fortunately Little Miami School District has consistently maintained an Excellent or better rating over the last few years, but the PERCEPTION of the general home buying public is that there is a problem here, and home sellers trying to leave the area are discovering it the hard way and being forced to accept lower prices to complete the deal and move on with their lives.
Now we're not just arbitrarily making this assumption about Little Miami School District home value declines being tied to levy failures. Let's look at Mason, Kings and Lebanon, neighboring school districts that have also consistently maintained an Excellent or better Ohio School Report Card rating. We'd consider Lebanon to be the closest true comparison due to similar demographics, home pricing and a similar mix of town/rural.
What do you see? What we see is evidence that home prices are still negative from 2005 to the end of 2010, but all at a percentage significantly lower than Little Miami School District. When examining the first seven month's section from 2010 to 2011, EVERY school district besides Little Miami appears to have turned the corner. Average and Median home prices increased in all three of these other districts over the last year! They're recovering and GAINING value while Little Miami is LOSING value.
It would appear to us that the primary culprit IS the failure to get the school financial situation and reputation back under LOCAL control.
Again, the tables are FACT based. Our conclusion about the WHY Little Miami School Districts is opinion based, but it's an opinion formed as REALTORS® working closely with Little Miami School District home owners and buyers over the last decade, and closely following local events and trends.
You can draw your own conclusions, but our recommendation is clearly to PASS the November tax levy and get your local market home value recovery started. Without the school situation resolved, we'd expect Little Miami School District home values to continue to lag that of neighboring districts.
Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz