Cleveland, Ohio, was once an energy boomtown and a major industrial center. The city has many cultural institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a renowned orchestra, a theater district, an art museum with a first-class collection and a ballet company. It sits on Lake Erie, one of the world's largest bodies of fresh water. It has top-tier sports teams in baseball, football and basketball. The Cleveland Clinic, a world-class medical center, runs an excellent medical system throughout the metropolitan area.

However, Cleveland has been losing manufacturing jobs for 40 years. The city lost more than half of its population from 1970 to 2010. Only eight of the city's neighborhoods have average listing prices over $100,000 in April 2016. There are 24 neighborhoods with average listing prices under $100,000, with 14 being under $50,000.

Market Insights

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) House Price Index lists Cleveland as one of the metropolitan areas where property values have not recovered to pre-recession peaks. The metro area had a ranking of 174.93 at the peak and is still 7.53% lower, with a ranking of 162.68.

There are some signs of hope. Even as Cleveland has been losing people, the metropolitan area's population has been relatively level for the last 20 years. A long-term commitment to redeveloping downtown, the river area and the lakefront is paying off, as those neighborhoods are immensely popular with professionals, millennials and artists. Per capita income has been increasing even as the population has been decreasing.

There is opportunity for real estate investors looking at the long term. As price increases along the coasts and in the Southwest reduce the affordability of homes, affordable cities like Cleveland will become more enticing. A savvy investor should look for properties in neighborhoods next to the ones that are currently trendy and start redevelopment in anticipation of demand spilling over.

Property and Transfer Taxes

The property tax rate in the city of Cleveland is 2.58%, slightly below the metropolitan area medium of 2.65% and well below the 4.24% paid by residents of Shaker Square. Property transfer taxes, called conveyance fees in Ohio, are set at $4 per every $1,000 of property value.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

The five most expensive neighborhoods in Cleveland are Downtown, with an average listing price of $514,000, University at $440,000, Tremont at $291,000, Ohio City at $284,000 and Detroit-Shoreway at $188,000. All five neighborhoods are in or near redevelopment zones and have easy access to Cleveland's downtown, cultural centers and lakefront.

Cleveland's most expensive suburb, Hunting Valley, has a median home value of $1.22 million. This amount could buy a 6,000+ square foot Tudor home, with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a six-car garage on a lot with more than 5 acres.

Top Real Estate Websites

The malaise in the real estate market is also present in Cleveland real estate websites. The vast majority of the sites are standard cookie-cutter sites that focus on a handful of suburbs near the broker's office. The content tends to be generic real estate articles that could apply to anywhere in the country. In-depth discussions about local market conditions and neighborhoods are rare. The best realtor website, CBHunter.com, has coverage for the whole of northeastern Ohio.

CrainsCleveland.com is a business site about Cleveland. Its real estate news section does an excellent job of covering the commercial real estate market in northeastern Ohio.

Cleveland.com covers all local news in a partnership with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The real estate section covers all of the latest commercial news, mixed with home sales reports and the occasional in-depth article on a segment of the residential real estate market.

Columbus, Ohio Real Estate Market

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