New report on Cleveland housing market (WEWS)

CLEVELAND – U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month. The declines show that most homeowners are not reaping the benefits from some signs of an improving housing market.

In Cleveland, average home prices were below their January 2000 levels, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index.

On Tuesday, an economist and a Cleveland State University professor gave a report on the state of Cleveland housing to the Community Economic Development Committee at Cleveland City Hall.

Dr. Tom Bier said after 200 years, Cuyahoga County has almost no green fields or land remaining. He also said, this is a major concern, because the county cannot grow its tax base through outer suburban development.

“If this county cannot grow its tax base some other way, the only future it has is decline,” said Bier.

“Every time you remove blight in any area, you get some gain immediately, even though it’s a long-term investment,” said Thomas Fitzpatrick, a community development economist with Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Bier also pointed out that in other counties like Lorain, there are hundreds of square miles of farmland available for development.

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