Bob Castellini made a prediction last month at the Over-the-Rhine Chamber luncheon at Music Hall: Within three years, there will be million-dollar, single-family homes for sale in the neighborhood.
The future is almost now. The highest recently recorded sale in OTR was a unit at American Condominiums on Central Parkway that sold for $850,000.
A two-family home on 14th Street at the north end of Washington Park was recently on the market for $899,000.
“OTR isn’t up-and-coming,” said Shawn Baker, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker and longtime OTR resident. “It’s happening.”
In 2010, the average sale price of a single-family home in OTR was $221,428, according to RE/MAX real estate agents Mary Elsener and Saralou Durham.
Today, real estate search engine Trulia reports the average list price is $427,192.
“We have seen property values appreciate significantly,” said Mary Burke Rivers, executive director of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, the nonprofit developer dedicated to keeping the neighborhood diverse and helping low-income residents afford housing.
The developer also sells properties at market rate.
Rivers explains that the nonprofit developed the 1400 block of Pleasant Street. A home there that sold for $261,640 in 2010 was resold three years later for $424,000. Another Pleasant Street property sold for $321,830 and resold a year later for $415,000.
Anastasia Mileham, communications director for Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), explained that when the developer first sold condos in 2006, the price per square foot was $166. Today, that rate is $250.
“That has a lot to do with the increasing stability of the neighborhood as much as anything else,” Mileham said. “Not only is our for-sale product going for higher prices than in earlier years, but it’s selling faster.”
Not the whole picture
That two-family home on 14th Street selling for almost $900 grand?
Ryan Messer, president of Over-the-Rhine Community Council, and his partner Jimmy Musuraca bought the dilapidated building in 2011.
“From when we bought it until now, we’ve put over $675,000 into the house,” Messer said. “And that doesn’t include the vast amount of ‘sweat equity’ hours.
“And that’s what a lot of people don’t understand about renovating these properties in OTR. Sure, you may be able to sell them for a bit, but what you have to put into them is enormous. These aren’t ‘pull up the carpet and paint the walls’ renovations.”
Messer said he recently saw a place on Vine Street where all three floors of the building had collapsed into the basement.
Originally, even Messer was skeptical the couple would get their asking price. They had offers, but all have fallen through because lenders studied comparables, and they came in low.
Soon enough, Roxanne Qualls, former Cincinnati mayor and the real estate agent listed on the home, persuaded Messer and Musuraca to split the listing into a two-family building.
“We weren’t seeing a big demand for the purchase of the whole building,” Qualls said. “Individual condos are in high demand, but not entire properties, at least at this point.”
The two condos were priced to sell individually. The first went back on the market at $585,000, the second at $399,000. So what was a single property listed at $899,000 is now two units with a combined listing of $984,000.
Since the split, a sale on the first is already pending.
“I find it interesting that people have preconceived notions about what the future of Over-the-Rhine is going to be,” said Seth Maney, executive vice president of Urban Sites, a developer. “There is certainly high demand now, but supply is being created by all kinds of different forces.”
As for the impending million-dollar mark? Qualls says she thinks the housing price will continue to rise in OTR, though the rate of sales may slow in the future once supply is closer to exhausted.
“Some have already invested millions in property in OTR,” Qualls said. “These places just aren’t on the market yet.”
This article originally appeared here.