Columbus Ohio Housing Market Report – September 2017

Central Ohio home sales hit record high in September

Central Ohio saw record home sales in September, due in large part to the record number of homes added to the market in August. There were 2,869 central Ohio homes and condos sold during the month of September, an 8.3% increase over the previous year and the highest number of closed sales for the month of September ever recorded according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

Most homeowners decide to sell their home because they’d prefer to be in a different neighborhood. Others simply want a home with different features or a different location with a better view. And of course, there are always homeowners wanting a larger or smaller home, those looking to upsize or downsize. Whatever your reason, now is a good time to consider listing your home, while the demand is so strong. This is especially true if you are looking to upsize and have a home in a desirable area with a value below $300,000 and are looking to upsize to a home above $500,000. Inventory levels are lowest on the starter home end of the market up to approximately $300,000 thus allowing you to sell your current home for a premium, while inventory levels and demand are more balanced and in some areas inventory actually exceeds demand allowing you to get a deal on your purchase. And all this as mortgage interest rates remain near their historic lows!

Central Ohio home buyers continue to be eager and ready to commit to purchasing a home and in most instances if you want or needs to sell, there’s no reason to wait until spring and to wait to put your home on the market. Market timing is all about listing when demand is high and since demand for homes remains strong, and the Fed is expected to raise the Fed Funds Rate (which indirectly impacts mortgage interest rates) now is a great time to list and sell a home!

The average sale price of a home in central Ohio during the first three quarters of 2016 was just over $203,000 which is up 5.2% from a year ago. The average sales price of a home during the month of September was $205,591, up 6.0% from a year ago. The median price of a home sold in September was $172,000, up 7.5% from last year.

The average sales price is the total volume divided by the number of homes sold. The median is the midpoint — half the homes sell for less, while half sell for more.

The number of homes for sale in central Ohio during the month of September was 6,125 which is down 2.3% from August and down 22.8% when compared to last year. There were 2,962 central Ohio homes and condos added to the market in September, a 5.0% drop from the same month a year ago and a 12.6% decrease from August.

Inventory may be dwindling as we head into the cooler months, but that’s all the more reason for prospective sellers to get off the fence and list their home. Buyers remain anxious to see new listings and they are ready to commit.

During the month of September, central Ohio homes and condos spent an average of 34 days on the market, which remains unchanged from August and is 10 fewer days than in September 2015.

When asked about multiple offers situations over the past year, 92 percent report seeing an increase, six percent said it’s about the same and two percent have seen a decrease.

That said, homeownership obstacles remain in today’s market. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a variety of dynamics must be considered. While the affordability index is still strong, it is slowly weakening. In addition, there is some softness in market activity right now: rising home sales are leveling off and there’s a little more breathing room; however, a recent NAR survey of home sellers found that homeowners are staying in their homes for longer—10 years instead of the previous six—which is causing housing shortages. And while mortgage rates are at historic lows, first-time homebuyers are having difficulty saving for down payments.

“The lack of inventory has pushed up home prices by 48 percent from the low point in 2011, while wage growth over the same period has been only 15 percent,” said Yun. “Despite improving confidence this year from renters that now is a good time to buy a home, the inability for them to do so is causing them to miss out on the significant wealth gains that homeowners have benefitted from through rising home values.”

Real estate agents are encouraging their clients to buy now as interest rates are at risk—Yun believes mortgage rates will gradually climb towards 4.50 percent by the end of 2018. Student loans are heavily impacting buyer’s affordability, and policy makers need to come up with a way to roll student debt into a mortgage with a low interest rate.

On the other side of this coin, the nation’s median home value is expected to grow by $6,275 to $208,975 just one year from today, this according to Zillow. An additional $6K adding on to the already considerable funds homebuyers need now to own a home. The average homebuyer, in fact, has to add $105 more each month to their down payment savings (assuming a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home, the figure increases significantly for those looking to put the minimum 3% down) over the next year, or $1,260 total, to keep up with the rise in values. In other words: It costs more to hold off.

“Sky-high rents and rising home prices are putting first-time buyers in a bit of a catch-22,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Buying now with a lower down payment may cost a bit more in the short term, this in the form of a slightly higher interest rate, however, a renter who saves for another year to reach a larger down payment may find that the home they love today is outside their budget a year from now (especially is the Fed moves forward with it’s proposed plan to raise the Fed Funds Rate). For those considering buying in the next year, getting into the market today may make more financial sense than they think.”

Current housing report – September 2016
All housing reports

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 Marysville 43040 43041 New Albany 43054 Pickerington 43147 Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235

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