MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Of all the cities and townships in Mahoning County, it turns out the ones with the oldest houses have seen the largest percentage of increases in home valuations.
How did that happen, and is that good or bad? Earlier today, we talked with several people about the increases in Youngstown, Struthers and Campbell.
The 400 block of Geneva Avenue in Struthers — between Youngstown-Poland Road and 5th Street — is a neighborhood that was built in the 1960s. Six years ago, houses there sold for between $70,000 and $80,000.
“Those same houses are reselling for $130,000 [and] $140,000,” said Jenna Koontz, a realtor for Howard Hanna.
Koontz grew up, still lives and now sells houses in Struthers where, for the last couple of years, she says buyers have been frustrated.
“They’re frustrated by what the houses are going for. Like, can I even afford this anymore? There were 20 offers on this house. Well, it’s kind of caught up to us now,” Koontz said.
Numbers released last week by Auditor Ralph Meacham show that Youngstown, at 57%, had the highest percentage increase in home values of any community in Mahoning County. Second was Struthers at 51% and Campbell was third at 50%.
“In some of those communities, you know quite well, you could buy a house, a few years ago, $25,000 to $30,000,” Meacham said.
In Youngstown, some of those houses now sell for $45,000.
“The difference in absolute dollars is just $15,000 in that case, but as a percentage increase, it gets to be 50% pretty fast,” Meacham said.
“We want to see values go up,” said Ian Beniston, who runs the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.
Beniston says home values in Youngstown have been devalued for a long time.
“Which has resulted in thousands of homeowners here losing a huge amount of equity,” Beniston said.
However, increased values will likely mean higher property taxes. So, is having a house worth more a good thing?
“I think it’s a fair thing,” Meacham said.
“I don’t know how it’s going to shake out because quite honestly, these communities have a lot of people that live paycheck to paycheck,” Koontz said.
“I think what we’re seeing is a good thing. It just has to be tempered, and there has to be some controls put in place so a hardship is not created,” Beniston said.
The following are the communities with the lowest percentage of increase in Mahoning County: Beaver Township was the lowest at 20% with Ellsworth Township at 22%. Springfield Township, Green Township and Lowellville were all at 26%.