November 21, 2014

Medina
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Study: Bigger the county, bigger the fall

Kiera Manion-Fischer and David Knox | The Gazette

Home values in Ohio and across the nation declined more in larger counties — those with populations greater than 65,000 — than in smaller counties since the end of the Great Recession.

That’s the finding of a new Census Bureau study, released today.

The report also found more Americans are renting rather than owning their homes.

The statistics are drawn from the American Community Survey three-year estimates for 2010-12 and 2007-09.

The study reported that in two-thirds of the nation’s counties with populations between 20,000 and 65,000, the median home value in the post-recession period of 2010-12 “was not statistically different from the recession period of 2007-2009.”

In contrast, median home values in 43 of the 50 largest counties declined over the same period. The recession officially started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

Nationally, the median home value was $174,600 in the post-recession period — down $17,300 or 9 percent from the previous three-year period.

Ohio saw a much smaller 4.6 percent decline to $130,600 — down from $136,900 in 2007-09. In addition to Ohio, 27 other states reported lower median home values.

Ohio followed the national pattern of greater losses in the more populous counties. Nine of the state’s 10 largest counties posted statistically significant drops.

Median values in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s most populous county, declined to $125,700 — down $10,900, or 8 percent, from 2007-09.

Medina County, which ranks 16th in population, slid nearly 5 percent, reporting an $8,800 decline to $180,300.

Overall, nearly 60 percent of Ohio’s 38 counties with populations greater than 65,000 reported declines considered statistically significant by the Census Bureau.

The declines in median home values are somewhat understated in the report. That’s because the dollar amounts were not adjusted for inflation.

Between 2007 and 2012, the Consumer Price Index — the most used measure of inflation — went up nearly 11 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If the 2007-09 home values had been adjusted upward to the equivalent 2010-12 dollars, the declines would have been much greater.

In Medina County, for example, the average unadjusted home value for the three recession years, 2007-09 was $187,833. Adjusted for inflation, the average climbs to $203,086, resulting in a much larger decline in value compared with today.

Not surprising, the percentage of homeowners went down along with home values.

Nationally, the homeownership rate declined by 1.7 percent to 64.7 percent in 2010-12 compared with the previous period.

Ohio also saw a decrease in homeownership rates after the recession to 67.3 percent — down from 68.9 percent in the 2007-09 period.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com. Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.