A few weeks ago, leadership members of the Stark County Association of REALTORS® traveled to Washington D.C. for our annual Legislative Conference. This is an opportunity every year to meet with our representatives, discuss upcoming or pending legislation affecting homeownership, property rights and tax legislation. It being a presidential election year only heightened the discussions and awareness of how important private property rights are to the average citizen.
During our visit, the National Association of REALTORS® was celebrating their 100th year anniversary, and also recognized 23 local associations also celebrating 100 years. Stark County was one of those associations. We have, in fact, been around 106 years, and therefore one of the “founding” members of the national association. This event prompted me to do some research on just how far we’ve come since approximately 1920!
In 1920, Stark County was comprised of 362,240 acres. Since that time, we’ve grown through annexation and/or incorporation by 6,400 acres to a total land mass today of 368,640 acres or 576 square miles! Our population has grown by 212% in that amount of time, from 177,218 to 375,736.
In 1920, 90.8% of our land mass was classified and taxed as rural agricultural and the average farm consisted of 71 acres. Today, only 36% of our land mass is classified as agricultural. In 1920, the average value per acre for farm land was $87 and today it is $1,725 per acre.
As of last statistics available, our land today is worth $16,692 per acre. However, over 22% of our housing stock was built prior to 1940 with the median year built showing as 1963, meaning our housing stock is most certainly aging.
Through the years, other local boards in various areas such as Canton, Alliance, Massillon and Carroll county have merged to become the Stark County Association of REALTORS®, representing members in Stark and Carroll counties. In the last few years, boards throughout the state have been merging together, creating large “mega” boards representing vast geographical areas or simply merging to consolidate services to their members. Stark County is the seventh largest board in the state representing 775 REALTOR® members and 95 affiliate members. This may sound like a lot, but two decades ago our numbers were hovering around 1300 members.
We pride ourselves in being the “voice” of Stark and Carroll counties, representing our industry and championing the issues and causes that directly relate to private land rights in our area. Our geographical “footprint” is well within the reach of our members for participation in local activities, governmental discussions and market activity. We’re proud to be serving you for over 100 years, and look forward to servicing at least 100 years more!
As appearing the The Repository, 5-27-16