Looking north at State Road 741, where Otterbein’s plans could include 3,500 new homes, restaurants and grocery stores, medical offices, arts and cultural shops, a performing arts center and a regional sports complex. / The Enquirer/ Tony Jones
Rachel Richardson reports:
One of the last undeveloped areas between Cincinnati and Dayton would see two new interchanges along Interstate 75, more than 3,000 new homes, an equestrian center and a zoo facility under a plan to develop Warren County.
It could form the blueprint for development in northwest Warren County, officials say.
The proposal, which encompasses about 20 square miles in Turtlecreek and southern Franklin townships, is the brainchild of a 25-member advisory committee representing three counties and five municipalities, made up of residents, business and property owners and developers.
Regional planning officials presented their preliminary “I-75 Area Plan” to Warren County commissioners earlier this month, outlining the proposed development along the east side of I-75 from Liberty Township in Butler County to Franklin Township in Warren County.
The final draft plan is expected to be completed by May, after which it will be submitted to county commissioners for review.
“It really is the last remaining piece of the puzzle,” said Matt Obringer, a planner with Warren County working on the project.
“If you go north from Cincinnati, it’s development and development and then you get to Turtlecreek Township and it’s a dark spot. If you go south from Dayton and get to Centerville and Springboro, it’s another dark spot.”
Fresh from winning national acclaim for a Deerfield Township apartment complex, residential developer Hills Properties is about to break ground on two new projects to satisfy suburban luxury living tastes.
Hills will break ground Wednesday on a 218-unit apartment development in Blue Ash called the 4900, named after the block of Hunt Road where it is located.
Hills Properties, based in Blue Ash, is working on an upscale suburban multifamily development on the old Thriftway sight on Hunt Road in Blue Ash. L-R: Seth Guttman, Partner, Louis Guttman, CEO, Brandon Guttman, Partner, Rusty Lykes, senior VP. The Enquirer/ Liz Dufour
A groundbreaking has yet to be scheduled for the 272-unit The Savoy at the Streets of West Chester.
Leasing for the high-end developments is planned to begin in the spring. Construction is expected to continue through the year, and residents could move in late in 2014.
Blue Ash-based Hills, one of the biggest residential real estate developers in the region, is cashing on a growing trend: High demand for upscale rental housing in some of the region’s nicest neighborhoods.Helping drive that demand is tighter mortgage lending standards that put homebuying out of reach for many, and consumers’ desires to be mobile and free from long-term debt.
“Luxury apartments are indeed a fast-growing national trend,” said Maria Lashells, director of marketing and training for Hills. “We’re seeing upwardly mobile professionals in their mid-30s to early 40s who need to be mobile because of their career and empty-nesters in their early 50s who already live in upscale homes but don’t need a big house anymore.
“They’re looking for the same luxury and amenities, but without the maintenance and worry.”
In recent years, a lot of activity has focused on turning former office buildings, department stores and outdated apartment units into attractive, renovated rentals in and around Cincinnati’s urban core. But at the same time, developers are finding similar interest from consumers who want rentals in the suburbs.
Lashells said Hills has been biding its time to figure out the right moment to break ground and start building. It has held land for the developments in Blue Ash and Deerfield Township for more than a decade.
Rents will average $1,200 a month in the West Chester development and between $1,400 and $1,500 a month at 4900 in Blue Ash.
The new apartments will be in mid-rise buildings that have an urban feel, said Lexi Kopilchack, Hills marketing coordinator. The sites will feature primarily one or two bedrooms with a study, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The Blue Ash complex will include a rooftop fitness center, pool and a storefront cyber café.
Heading into fall, local home sales are continuing their 27-month streak of year-over-year growth.
Cincinnati home sales were up 23 percent, at 1,964, in September compared a year ago, the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors reported Monday. Prices have also increased 5.6 percent, to a median of $132,000.
Local home mortgage rates in September averaged 4.28 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, up from 3.43 percent a year ago.
The inventory of homes available for sale as of September 30 continued its year-over-year declining trend, down 8.9 percent, to 10,527, the Cincinnati board said. As of Monday, the Multiple Listing Service listed 10,491 homes for sale in Southwest Ohio.
This story will be updated with Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana sales numbers when they are available.
Nationwide, September home sales were up 10.7 percent from September 2012. The National Association of Realtors, which adjusts its numbers based on the season, reported September 2013 sales down 1.9 percent from August.
In other local housing news Monday:
• The three-state Cincinnati metropolitan area hit a four-year low for home foreclosures in August, according to a report released by the data collection company CoreLogic.
The foreclosure rate among outstanding mortgage loans was 2 percent, a decrease of 1 percentage points compared to August 2012 and lower than the national foreclosure rate of 2.36 percent for August 2013.
• Homebuilding for the first nine months of the year was up 36 percent vs. last year in Southwest Ohio, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati. Hamilton County led in growth, with a 49.6 percent increase in single-family home permits.
Hamilton issued 335 single-family permits through September, compared to 224 last year. Warren County continued to lead all southwest Ohio counties with 601 single-family permits, while Butler County issued 421 permits and Clermont County 283 permits.
Home sales continued their growth in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky last month.
Sales were up 24 percent in Southwest Ohio compared with August 2012, according to the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. Year-to-date, home sales are up 23 percent compared with the same period last year.
Average home prices have increased 6.5 percent year-to-date to $171,000, compared with the same period in 2012.
Sales in Northern Kentucky grew 15 percent in August vs. the same month last year, the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors reported. Sales are up 17 percent year-to-date.
The average price has increased 5.9 percent year-to-date, to $155,000.
The Cincinnati Realtors group said the rise in interest rates hasn’t affected sales: Local mortgage rates in August averaged 4.54 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan, up from 3.53 percent a year ago.
Nationally, home sales increased 1.7 percent from July to August, according seasonally adjusted figures from the National Board of Realtors.
Foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates in the Cincinnati region declined sharply from the middle of 2012 to the middle of 2013, newly released data shows.
The drop occurred after foreclosure and delinquency rates stayed steady through 2011 and 2012.
The finding is important, because it’s a sign of the housing sector’s growing health. In addition, both foreclosures and short sales have been weighing down housing prices locally and in other cities hard hit by the housing bubble.
The rate of foreclosures among outstanding Cincinnati area mortgage loans was 2.11 percent for the month of June 2013, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points compared to June 2012. Foreclosure activity locally was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 2.49 percent for June 2013, according to CoreLogic, an Irvine, Calif.-based data analytics and services company that provided the data.
In addition, the mortgage delinquency rate dropped from mid 2012 to mid 2013. According to the CoreLogic data for June 2013, 5.24 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 6.24 percent for the same period last year, representing a decrease of 1.00 percentage points.
Million-dollar houses are back for Homearama’s 2013 show, thanks to an improving economy.
For the first time in the 51-year history of the new home show, all six houses on display have been sold. Buyers paid between $850,000 and $1.3 million for the homes in the Carriage Hill community in Liberty Township.
Thursday, show sponsor Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati invited the media for a preview of the 400-acre community that’s surrounded by lakes, woods and walking paths. Sponsors also announced that the 2014 Homearama will be built at Carriage Hill as well.
The 2013 show, which opens Saturday and runs through July 28, includes styles from a one-level ranch to two-story French Tudor.
“This year’s show features a dramatic sunken home theater, an indoor basketball court, a spectacular home library, stunning architecture including a 16-foot turret and cupola, trendy outdoor living spaces and themed bedrooms,” said Dan Dressman, executive director of the Home Builders Association. “This year’s Homearama will definitely be one to remember and one not to miss.”
“I was shocked and amazed,” Peters (photo) said when she heard of the honor. “If anything, it just touches my heart that so many people believe in me.”
Peters had many clients believe in her this past year, selling almost $40 million in property during that span. According to Peters, the property ranged from as low as $50,000.
Peters, who joined Sibcy Cline Realtors in 2005, has been the company’s top agent for two out of the past four years (2007 and 2010). Prior to 2005, Peters worked in the corporate packaging industry for 30 years. She credits that experience working in sales and marketing with giving her the confidence to succeed in the real estate business.
Peters previous work experience made her re-locate seven times. Currently, most of her clients are people who have re-located to West Chester and its surrounding areas. Most of those people, who are re-locating, have been referred to her from previous clients.
Peters, who sells property in West Chester, Mason and Liberty Township, also gives credit to where she does business.
“It is tough (the economy) and a lot of people are not getting what want, but this is still a very desirable area,” Peters said.