2014 Year End Housing Market Report – Columbus OH

2014 a year for multiple offers and same day contracts in central Ohio

It was a strong year for the Columbus and Central Ohio housing market and metrics like sales price (ie. home values) and sales to list price ratios were up. The overall average sale price of a home in central Ohio rose 5.1% to $183,099 for the year. Moreover, this is 2.9% higher than the average home sale price of $177,078 in 2005 during the height of the housing boom.

While mortgage interest rates remained lower than most expected which helped fuel buyer activity, sales volume was constrained due to the lack of inventory which plagued the market during most of 2014.

Low inventory and the ability to find the right property continues to curtail buying and thus is a limiting factor to overall sales volume but a contributing factor to rising price – supply and demand. Due to the lack of inventory during 2014, more home sellers experienced multiple offers and same day contracts. Central Ohio homes sold for 94.0% of the original list price during 2014. More importantly, homes sold for 96.9% of last list price.

While prices have risen and affordability isn’t what it was in 2012 or 2013, mortgage interest rates are still below 4% and affordability remains well above its long-term average.

Low inventory levels resulted in home sales ending the year at 26,655, trailing 2013 (27,235) by 2.1% making 2014 the fourth highest year on record for home sales in central Ohio. Of note was the uptick in sales during three of the last four months of 2014, during this period overall pending sales increased 2.5% to 27,823 for the year.

Seller activity decreased 3.9% to 35,919 new listings. With 7,170 active listings as of the end of 2014, consumers had 27.3 fewer options at the end of 2014 than in 2013.

Persistent price gains meant most sellers could finally list their homes without competition from the Lender-Mediated market (foreclosures and short sales). While many sellers are simply unaware of just how much the market has improved while others seem to still be looking for the extra confidence needed to sell.

Those shopping for homes saw their searches return higher quality homes as the Lender-Mediated market continued to shrink.

In 2015, watch for stronger seller activity to increase inventory levels, which could alleviate shortages in certain areas and segments resulting in increased overall sales volume.

Pricing your home right from the start is the key not only to a timely transaction, but also to realizing the highest possible sales price and fetching top dollar for your home. It’s important that sellers pay attention to the comparable sales and follow the advice of their Realtor when preparing to list their home.

Columbus, Beechwold/Clintonville, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Olentangy School District, Pickerington, Westerville and Worthington saw the most home sale activity throughout 2014.

Seventy-six percent of central Ohio REALTORS® indicated that the middle market has seen the highest demand; 16 percent said the low-end and eight percent indicated the high-end market has been best this year. We’ve seen elevated activity across all price points and if mortgage interest rates hold to their current levels we expect to see increased activity in the low and middle markets in 2015 this as the central Ohio economy continues to improve, wages rise, and gas prices remain below $3.00 a gallon. The forementioned factors should serve to encourage additional sales in the low-end and first-time homebuyer market which will stimulate the middle market as these owners purchase larger more expensive homes.

Sales Activity by Price Point 2014

$0 – $50,000                  2,687
$50,001 – $100,000        4,342
$100,001 – $150,000      6,054
$150,001 – $200,000      5,096
$200,001 – $250,000      3,072
$250,001 – $300,000      1,901
$350,001 – $400,000         917
$450,001 – $500,000         368
$550,001 – $600,000         195
$650,001 – $700,000           96
$750,001 – $800,000           46
$850,001 – $900,000           28
$950,001 – $1,000,000        14
$1,000,001 – $1,500,000     58
$1,500,001 – $2,000,000     18
$2,000,001 – $3,000,000       6
$3,000,001+                         1

In almost every community, foreclosure and short sale activity is declining and is near multi-year lows. That’s a good thing, since these distressed product types sell at a steep discount to their traditional counterparts. In 2014, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale fell 37.6 percent to 16.4 percent.

If the economic tailwinds stick around as they should, housing may have a break out year in 2015. Qualified first-time buyers need good jobs and access to mortgage capital. Watch for movement on housing finance reform. Rates should be stable until mid-2015, when the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the key federal funds rate.

By almost all measures, the economic landscape has improved. Recent gross domestic product growth is rising at a 5.0% annual rate. The national unemployment rate is under 6.0, down from a 10-year high of 10.0 in October 2009, and stocks are reaching all-time highs.

The deficit is down by two-thirds, gas prices are at multi-year lows and we’re in the midst of the largest stretch of job gains on record. Given all that, 2015 should hold much promise.

Current housing report – December 2014
2014 Annual Report
All central Ohio housing reports
National 2015 housing forecast

If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickerington Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235