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Akron Area Board of Realtors concludes active 2012

1/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Sandy Naragon, chief executive officer of the Akron Area Board of Realtors, and Ali Whitley, who served as president in 2012, are shown with Akron Mayor Donald Plusquellic at the AABOR 100th anniversary event last March.
Photo courtesy of Ali Whitley
Year includes 100th anniversary, move to new site

WEST AKRON — The Akron Area Board of Realtors (AABOR) started 2012 with a major anniversary celebration, spent the summer moving to a new space and concluded the year with good news for Akron, according to out-going president Ali Whitley.

Founded in 1912, AABOR celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala event at Greystone Hall, Whitley said.

“We actually had it on our 100th anniversary day, March 22,” she said. “What we wanted to do was focus on the history of AABOR and the history within Akron.”

As part of the event, a committee prepared a 30-minute video with a historical look back at the organization over the years.

“It showed how the board helped to shape Akron and how Akron helped shape the board,” Whitley said. “We had a lot of old photos and newspaper articles that were from 1912.”

This year also saw AABOR move to its new office on White Pond Drive in new space attached to the Home Builders Association Serving Summit and Portage Counties office. The move took place in June.

“We just thought joining with the Home Builders Association was a perfect match,” Whitley said. “We have members that are members of both organizations. And the location is wonderful, right off the highway. It’s a good partnership.”

The two organizations have separate offices but do share a large space for classes and meetings, she added.

The year also saw AABOR continue its work with Rebuilding Together Greater Cuyahoga Valley to help homeowners in need. The board also created a new event, the Housing Summit at Lock 3 Park in the summer.

“That went very well,” Whitley said of the event, which featured vendors and workshops on home ownership topics such as financing.

Whitley said she was happy to get a call in December from a reporter with the Kiplinger financial website, who said Akron was going to be featured on the website’s list of the top 12 markets that showed increases in home purchase prices in 2012.

“We had a 16.5 percent increase for 2012, which made us No. 5 in the top 12,” Whitley said. “Akron’s looking good.”

The site stated: “The double-digit gain in home prices in this northeastern Ohio city puts a little shine on the Rust Belt. The market in Summit County, which a few years ago was burdened by high inventory, much of it distressed, is improving. Home sales — helped by a not-so-dire unemployment rate in the Akron metro area — rose in 11 out of the past 12 months; in October they rose by 20.8 percent from the year before. The months’ supply fell from 11.3 months a year earlier to seven months, and many of the homes on the market are of higher quality.”

Other cities on the list included Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle and San Jose. The report can be found at www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/cities-with-rising-housing-market-home-prices/1.html#top.

Whitley, a West Akron resident who is an agent with Cutler Real Estate, said she enjoyed her year leading AABOR.

“We had a lot of nice activities, nice events and a lot of successful transitions,” she said.

AABOR’s president for 2013 is Tony DeLuke, of Markley Realty in Stow, who was installed at AABOR’s 101st installation event Jan. 10 at Fairlawn Country Club.

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