Central Ohio Housing Report – May 2021

More records were set in May when the average number of days it took for a home to sell across central Ohio dropped to 14! The number of active listings did increase last month resulting in a higher number of sales as well. Read the full report below.

Homes Selling Faster Than Ever Before! 

The time it took a home to sell during the month of May dropped to its lowest point on record. According to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service, listed homes took an average of 14 days to sell.  

Days on market is calculated from the list date up until the actual day that the status is changed to Contingent, Pending, Temp off Market, etc. Days on market are the actual days that a property was Active.

“This is not necessarily how long the house has been on the market,” said Michael Jones, 2021 President, Columbus REALTORS®. “If an owner switches real estate agents, the number is reset. There are also occasions when a home is withdrawn and later relisted. This would also reset the DOM. However, REALTORS® are able to research the properties MLS history and can tell more effectively how long the property has been on the market.”  

Ten years ago, there were 17,603 homes for sale – 88 percent more than today, and yet home sales today are 50 percent higher. 

Market shares have also changed significantly over the last decade. In May 2011, homes under $350,000 accounted for 93.5 percent of the homes sold and it took an average of 109 days to sell. Last month, homes in that price range totaled 2,054, or 68.4 percent of the sales, and they sold in an average of 11 days! 

At the other end of the spectrum, there were 13 homes over $700K that sold in May of 2011 and it took an average of 251 days for them to sell. This year, there were 137 homes sold in that price range – a 592 percent increase in market share – and they sold in an average of 27 days!

“The dramatic changes in market share and days on market provide meaningful insight into the needs and wants of today’s home buyer,” added Jones. “And the fact that we have so many more buyers in the higher price ranges impacts the average market home sale price.”
The average sale price jumped 21.8 percent from to $315,127 and the median sale price rose from $233,000 to $275,000 which was an increase of 18 percent, year over year.
A welcome increase in new listings resulted in a rise in the inventory last month, even with an increase in home sales. New listings rose almost 21 percent from a year ago and almost eight percent from April.
The number of homes sales also rose 18.1 percent year over year and 7.1 percent from the previous month. And a healthy increase of 15.3 percent in contracts suggests strong home sales ahead for June.

May 2021 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,700 real estate professionals engaged in residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, appraisal, consultation, real estate syndication, land development and more.
The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

4 Must Know Tips before Building a House

Building a new house is an exciting project with a steep learning curve. There is much you need to know before embarking on building a home, but we are here to help you every step of the way! We ensure surprises are kept to a minimum, so you get to move into your dream home!

Here are 4 Must Know Tips before Building a House:

1. Find the right builder

When building a new house, the most important task is finding the right builder. You want to use a company that matches your needs, wants, desires, style, and price range.  

The new-build market is constantly shifting, builders come and go as new neighborhoods start, or complete.  Make a list of possible builders, if you have a preference already. If you’re not sure, what communities are being build or don’t have a custom builder you want to use.  Ask us!  We always have an ongoing list since builders keep us informed of new neighborhoods. We can even help you narrow down your choices by reviewing your wanted features and providing research on which builder will best fit your needs.

2. Have Buyer Representation

Use a REALTOR® who works with you on your behalf and is professionally and legally bound to represent your best interests. Buyer representation is important when building a new house because, not only will they help you find the right builder, they will work on your behalf to make sure that you are getting what you want and what they agreed to.

Another benefit of working with a good REALTOR® is that they will be looking at your new house with future resale in mind. The Columbus Team is intimately familiar with what buyers want and can advise you regarding choices that will improve your resale.

There is no fee to buyers when choosing representation, the builder pays a small percentage to the agent because using us saves them time and money as well.  The cost of building a home is the same price whether or not you use a REALTOR® but If you choose not to buyer representation, there is no one who is legally bound to represent your best interests. The Columbus Team has many clients who we represented during new home builds and they are very happy they did so!

3. Expect price increases

There are a many costs associated with building a new house. Unlike buying an existing home, every detail of the building and property is up to you. This includes everything from floorboards being 2” or 4” to light switch plates being brass or plastic. With each of these choices comes a varying cost. This process can become unexpectedly expensive, which is why we suggest adding $10,000 to $20,000 onto the initial cost of the home to cover your design choices.

If a community proves to be popular, the builder may raise prices as the homes sell, in the past once you were in contract you were insulated from these price increases. In 2021, the new build contracts vary by builder. There are many opportunities for the builders to insert clauses, often paragraphs, where you, the buyer, is responsible for any increased cost for materials above the original contract price.  These contractual paragraphs are called escalation clauses. Many builders are also adding clauses that state if the new build does not appraise for the contracted price, that the buyer will pay the gap between appraisal and build price.  

 “There is a lot of buyers’ beware in building a new home today,” says Sue Lusk-Gleich. “Buyers only build 1 house in their lifetime and do not understand some of these pitfalls could very well throw off their budgeting for a new home, including future unforeseen cost or loss of deposits if they cannot perform in the end because of financial changes to the transaction.”

“Realtors on the other hand help our buyers build houses every day and bring great value to the buyer client of a new build to help them understand situations they may find themselves in after the fact.”

4. Be prepared for it to take longer than expected

Everything from the weather to the delivery of parts can affect how long the project takes, regardless of the timeline you’ve been given. Building a new house is time consuming because it requires permits, inspections, plus schedule coordination of many different contractors, and suppliers working in conjunction with one another.

At times, it may be a frustrating process, but it will get done! Your REALTOR® keeps on top of the timeline and communication with the builder.  We represent you to ensure the house build meets your expectations and the contractual obligations. The Columbus Team consists of experienced new build REALTORS®.

If you found 4 Must Know Tips before Building a House helpful, or have any questions please  reach out!  We’re happy to help!

4 Myths About Homeownership

4 Myths of buying vs renting

According to recent studies, some 20.4 million renter households paid more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2019. Economic fallout during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a rental affordability crisis in the USA. Rising rents and limited housing have increase pressure on moderate-income households.

People rent for a lot of reasons, many of them good: flexibility, convenience, love for the high-rise life. But we also know that many renters dismiss homeownership out-of-hand when it might be the best option for them. Here are the four most common myths about buying a house versus renting an apartment.

MYTH #1: Ownership Is More Expensive.

If you compare the overall price tag to your monthly rent, homeownership doesn’t seem all that affordable. But unless you’re buying a home outright and paying in cash, it’s not a fair comparison. In many cases, a monthly mortgage payment will be comparable to (or less than) monthly rent payments, especially since rents are increasing nationwide. According to a 2021 study, median home prices in 287 of the 552 counties analyzed in the first quarter of 2021 were more affordable than past averages. Homeowners are also less likely to suffer from cost burdens than renters are.

Plus, unlike a rent check, a mortgage payment establishes equity in your home. It’s also tax-deductible.

MYTH #2: Forget Saving Money.

You might think that after a downpayment, and mortgage payments, and furnishing, and repairs, and maintenance, and property taxes… saving money is a lost cause. But think of it this way: Every mortgage payment that pays down principal and interest is a kind of “forced savings account.” You have to pay it, so you do. But unlike a rent payment, that money isn’t vanishing into the ether (or, as it’s more commonly known, your landlord’s pocket). Assuming you don’t default on your loan and go into foreclosure, you’ll see that money again, in a different form. By establishing equity in your house, you’ll be seeing long-term value in the form of an investment. You’ll also be eligible for new lines of credit. It might take 30 years to pay it off, but it won’t be 30 years of checks down the drain.

According to this 2020 Borrower Equity Update, the average equity gain per homeowner in 2020 was $26,300.

MYTH #3: No One Will Give You a Loan.

After the housing crash, banks are a little more cautious about lending to new homeowners than they were in 2007. Still, it’s not impossible to get a loan if you have decent credit and some funds in reserve. Even if you don’t have the standard 20% down payment, you might be able to qualify for a low downpayment mortgage from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It backs mortgages with down payments as low as 3% for borrowers with credit scores of at least 620. That’s great news for young homeowners just entering the workforce.

MYTH #4: Home Ownership is for Old People.

According to the National Association of Realtors, over 36% of new homebuyers in 2021 were Millennials, making them the largest group of recent buyers.  Gen Z’s are now entering the market in small numbers, too.

Homeownership is a huge commitment, of course, and it should take more than reading a blog post to convince you to apply for a loan. Before you make any decisions, take a clear-eyed and ruthless look at your finances, your plans for the future, and your willingness to be responsible for basic home repairs. If you think homeownership is for you, get in touch with The Columbus Team to set up a consultation. Happy house hunting!

This article was originally provided in 2017 by Sam Radbil, a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO Columbus apartments. It has since been updated in 2021 with more recent statistics and information.

Central Ohio Housing Report – March 2021

Buyers are moving quickly on any new listings that come on the market. In March, just listed homes jumped 51% over February which resulted in a 36% increase of homes in contract as well!

If you’re considering a purchase or a sale, we can help you navigate this hectic, multiple offer market!  

New listings jump fifty percent in March

After two consecutive months of new listing declines, homes added to the market in March jumped 51.1 percent from the previous month. The 3,094 homes listed last month showed a marked improvement from the 2,047 new listings in February and 2,187 in January.

Buyers moved quickly on the added inventory putting 3,289 homes in contract, up 36.2 percent from February and 8.2 percent from last year.

This left the number of homes available for sale at the end of March at 1,639, down 51.9 percent from March of 2020, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service

As a result, months supply remains at 0.6 which means that, if no more homes were listed for sale, it would take just a couple weeks to sell the available inventory at the current sales pace.

“Inventory levels remain at record lows due to the significant increase in demand for homes in central Ohio that we’ve experienced for the last ten years,” said Michael Jones, 2021 Columbus REALTORS® President. “Meeting that demand is a process and will take time.”

“As every seller creates an opportunity, we’re hopeful that more homeowners will enter the market as things open up this spring and summer.”

Despite the drop in pending contracts reported in February, home sales increased almost 30 percent last month putting the first quarter of 2021 about three percent ahead of last year.

The average home sale price rose to $272,723 during first quarter 2021, an increase of 13.1 percent from one year ago. At $233,500, the median sale price reflected a gain of 11.2 percent.

Although homes have been selling in about 25 days this year, the time it takes a home to sell is based on several factors such as location, condition, and price. 

Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 20 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 33 days to sell. Homes sold between $500,000 and $700,000 sold in an average of 52 days and homes over $700,000 took an average of 64 days to sell.

Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 21 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 39 days to sell. Homes sold between $500,000 and $700,000 sold in an average of 57 days and homes over $700,000 took an average of 68 days to sell.
The average home sale price was $266,893 in February, an increase of 13.4 percent. At $255,500, the median sale price reflected a 7.4 percent gain.
With demand significantly outpacing supply, most homes sold in February sold for more than the list price. Those home that did sell for more than asking price, sold for an average of five percent more.
“Many homeowners have been reluctant to open their homes for showing due to concerns about the pandemic,” added Jones. “We expect to see an increase in sellers entering the market this spring as more and more people get vaccinated.”
March 2021 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,700 real estate professionals engaged in residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, appraisal, consultation, real estate syndication, land development and more.
The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

Selling Your House: 7 Things to do Before You List


By Maddie Ogden

If the time is right for selling your house, don’t miss these 7 professional real estate tips to help you get your house ready before you list!

Getting a house ready to sell can be overwhelming, especially for first time sellers. You might be wondering where to even start. The simplest and most effective way to prepare your home to list is by putting yourself into the shoes of potential buyers. Imagine you’re looking for a home and walk through your own home with a pen and paper and make notes. What do you see when you drive up? What’s your first impression? What is it about your home that stands out, or what turns you off? The answers to these questions are going to help you prepare to list your home, especially combined with the help of our expert agents.

Selling Your House: 7 Things to do Before You List

1. Hire a REALTOR®

At the very beginning of this process, it is wise to contact a REALTOR®. The Columbus Team has the experience and education needed to help home sellers optimize their efforts toward the best possible sale outcome. Your agent will work with you before your home goes on the market to help prepare the property for optimal sale and to help you make good choices about upgrades and other things to do before selling. The Columbus Team also offers our free House Coaching service to help home sellers take all the necessary steps to purge, pack, and paint to maximize their bottom line when selling.

2. Declutter and deep clean your house

Nothing will turn away a potential buyer faster than a bad smell or a cluttered room. Before you list your home, declutter your house by packing non-essential living items. You should also consider doing a deep clean of your home. This includes everything from mopping the floors to cleaning the curtains. Whether you do this yourself, or hire a cleaning service, it is important for your house to be fresh, clean, and free of clutter.

3. Make small changes, not big upgrades

Many first-time sellers mistakenly assume it’s the big changes that sell the house. With costly upgrades, sellers often end up putting more money into their house than they will get back. Instead of a complete remodel, you should instead invest in smaller updates that will help you sell. This can include things like fresh coats of paint, updating pulls and knobs, and changing light fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens. Small changes make for big results. The Columbus Team REALTORS® are always happy to provide insight into what projects to focus on to improve your bottom line when it’s time to sell.

4. Check curb appeal

When buyers drive up to your home, the first thing they see is the front of your home. Now is the time to make a big impact with some small changes. Keep the lawn trimmed, don’t let the shrubs grow too high, and keep weeds out of the flower garden. Paint the front door a bold shade of red or blue that goes with your house but makes it stand out at the same time. Pressure wash the driveway and walkway, and clean up the house. You want buyers to see it shine from start to finish. The first impression sets the tone for the rest of their tour of your home.

5. Hire a professional photographer

Having high-quality photos of your home is an essential part of the selling process. Now more than ever people are searching for homes online and doing online tours. If you don’t have well-done, professional pictures of your house, then it may get overlooked by buyers. Fortunately, The Columbus Team provides amazing high-quality photography and video tours to highlight our listings.

6. Stage your home

Before putting your house on the market, your agent will probably suggest you “stage” your home. While this may sound difficult, it is actually a very simple process. It includes steps like getting rid of excess furniture, removing personal items, and adding fresh flowers to rooms. You should also make sure to open your blinds and turn all your lights on. Buyers like bright spaces and it makes it easier to see your home. Your agent is an expert at this process and will help ensure your home looks perfect for its first showing. Just remember that details sell homes. The Columbus Team REALTORS® offer free home staging from our amazing House Coach for all of our clients.

7. Set a realistic price

Pricing your house right is one of the most important steps of the selling process. It is also one that can be the most daunting, especially for first-time sellers. This is where our expert agents come in. They will take you through the process of pricing your home. This includes things like looking at comparable sales in your neighborhood. Your agent will also look at the housing market trends in your area to see if prices are moving up or down. This information will help you accurately decide the right price for your house.

We hope the 7 things to do before you list will help you with selling your house quickly and profitably.  If you’d like even more information on selling your home, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home in Columbus Ohio.