Central Ohio Housing Report – February 2021

New listings are down almost 50% in central Ohio in February when compared to one year ago.

Multiple offers are still the norm, but don’t be dissuaded from buying right now.  Choose an active agent, like those of us on The Columbus Team, who can successfully guide you through creating a winning offer.

If you’re considering a sale, we can help you coordinate your buy and sale so you won’t be caught homeless through the process.  Just ask us how!  

Can inventory get any lower?

(Mar. 22, 2021 – Columbus Ohio) Although new listings remained relatively unchanged over the last decade, there was a noticeable drop in new listings in February 2021. Down almost 17 percent from the average for the second month of the year, the drop did little to assuage the many buyers looking for homes today.

Fewer homes added to the market resulted in fewer contracts and sales. Although sales were only down three percent last month, In Contracts – an indication of sales to come – dropped almost 12 percent.
Five years ago, there were over 5,400 homes for sale in central Ohio. Ten years ago, there were over 15,500 homes for sale.
However, February 2021 ended with just 1,689 homes listed for sale, down 48.1 percent from a year ago and the lowest on record according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.
Additionally, the months’ supply remains at 0.6 which means that, if no more inventory were added to the market, it would just over two weeks to sell all listed homes based on the current sales pace.
The BIA of Central Ohio reported that 11,864 housing permits were obtained by builders in 2020, a 46 percent increase from 2019 and the highest number since 2005 and preliminary data suggests a 32 percent increase in single-family permits in January.
Even with the additional new homes, central Ohio is still short of what is needed to meeting existing demand.
Areas that saw an increase in new listings last month include Grove City, Gahanna, Groveport, Downtown Columbus, Canal Winchester, Whitehall, Obetz, and Johnstown.
“We’ve never seen inventory this low before,” said Michael Jones, 2021 Columbus REALTORS® President. “As a result, housing is moving at a frenzied pace and we’re seeing multiple offers and offers over asking price.”
“Buyers interested in winning the bid need to be prepared and move quickly.”
Although the average days on market last month was 26, 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 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.”
February 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.

2020 Market Report: Central Ohio Broke All Records!

Below is a review of the 2020 housing market which was challenged by constant inventory shortages.  The 2021 outlook remains the same as buyer interest is steady amongst a significant inventory shortage.

If you are considering a sale, multiple offers are expected to continue to be the norm.  If you are buying, it is more important than ever to use a REALTOR with experience who can guide you effectively and successfully through your purchase.  Call The Columbus Team, we have the experience you need during this market. (614) 888-6100.


Record highs: Sales, Prices
Record lows: Inventory, Days on Market, Months Supply

The 2020 housing market was unexpectedly turbulent towards the end of the first quarter due to the pandemic that spread across the country. As the first wave of COVID-19 hit in the spring, housing market activity slowed substantially before staging a dramatic comeback just a couple of months later. 

Buyer activity was the leader again in 2020. With mortgage interest rates setting record lows multiple times throughout the year and a strong drive by many buyers to secure a better housing situation – in part due to the new realities brought on by COVID-19 – many segments of the market experienced a multiple-offer frenzy not seen in the last 15 years or more.

While markedly improved from their COVID-19 spring lows, seller activity continued to lag buyer demand, which had strengthened the ongoing seller’s market for most housing segments as inventories remain at record lows.

The housing market in 2020 proved to be incredibly resilient, ending the year on a high note. Home sales and prices were higher than in 2019 across most market segments and across most of the country. Seller activity recovered significantly from the COVID-19 spring decline, but overall activity was still insufficient to build up the supply of homes for sale.

Sales: Home sales increased 4.1 percent in 2020 to 33,431, usurping the previous record of 32,218 in 2017 by 3.8 percent.

Single-family home sales increased 4.2 percent last year while condominium sales were up 3.4 percent.

Condos held on to its market share of just under 15 percent of sales and single-family homes made up the lion’s share of 2020 sales at just over 85 percent, also unchanged from 2019.

Prices: Strong demand and lack of supply worked to push home prices up in 2020. The overall median sales price increased 10.5 percent to $232,000 for the year. Single-family home prices were up 10.5 percent compared to last year, and condo home prices were up 8.3 percent.

In the central Ohio area, Columbus REALTORS® has established the affordable housing benchmark as $180,000 based on median income, typical family size, interest rates and qualifying ratios. This would, of course, include most first-time home buyers.

Homes under $180,000 made up 33 percent of the market share in 2020, a decrease of 17.5 percent, while homes over $180,000 gained 11.7 percent market share.

“Although we had very strong demand for entry-level homes, sales were down as we simply didn’t have sufficient inventory in the under $180,000 price point,” said Michael Jones, 2021 Columbus REALTORS® President. “Fewer home sales in this sector and more home sales in the higher price ranges also served to push the overall market sales price. In many cases, the $180,000 home has now become the over $200,000 home.”

List Price Received: Sellers received, on average, 99.8 percent of their list price at sale, up 1.1 percent from 2019. Due to the declining inventory in the last half of the year, the average sale price exceeded the list price in five of the last six months.

Inventory: New listings decreased by 4.3 percent to finish the year at 36,023. Other than seven months in late 2018 and early 2019, central Ohio has experienced year over year declines in inventory for nearly ten years.

There were 2,049 active listings at the end of 2020, which was 47.3 percent less than the previous year. Five years ago, there were just over 6,000 listings at the end of the year, and ten years ago, that number was up to 16,000.

Months Supply: Reduced inventory and strong demand resulted in a 0.7 months supply at the close of 2020. This means that, if no more inventory were added to the market, it would take about three weeks to sell all listed homes based on the current sales pace – yet another record low for central Ohio.

Lender-Mediated Properties: The foreclosure market continued to remain a small player in the overall market amid numerous forbearance efforts undertaken by the government and lenders. In 2020, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale decreased by 27.0 percent to end the year at 1.8 percent of the market. Foreclosure and short sale activity may tick higher in 2021 as forbearances expire with some homeowners unable to meet their obligations.

As we look to 2021, signals suggest buyer demand will remain elevated and tight inventory will continue to invite multiple offers and higher prices across much of the housing inventory.

Mortgage rates are expected to remain low, helping buyers manage some of the increases in home prices and keep them motivated to lock in their housing costs for the long term. These factors will provide substantial tailwinds for the housing market into the new year.

“As more people are working from home, the need for more space or a different type of space has noticeably increased,” added Jones.

“If you’re uncertain about listing your home, consider this: record low-interest rates will enable you to afford more home. And if limited options are discouraging, new construction is an excellent option as there are so many new developments which can offer space that meets your needs.” 

2020 Year-End Housing Report

December 2020 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,600 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.

Questions to ask at an Open House or Showing

By Maddie Ogden

Open houses and house showings can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. It is the first opportunity for you to see your potential new home. While these events are exciting, it is also the perfect time for you to ask important questions about the house.

You may be wondering, what sort of questions should I be asking? That is exactly what we are here for! Here are some questions you should ask both before and during an open house.

Questions to ask before the Open House or Showing

  1. How long has the house been on the market?
  2. Have there been any price reductions?
  3. Is it vacant? If so, how long has it been vacant?

Go over the following questions with your chosen real estate agent since they can be indicators of how desirable the property is.

  1. Why are the owners selling?
  2. Have there been any offers?
  3. When does the seller want to move?

Questions about the sellers expectations are also important to go over with your chosen real estate agent before an open house or showing. The answers to these questions hint at what the negotiation process will be like and how quickly the seller wants to close.

Questions to Ask During the Open House or Showing

  1. What are the house’s biggest problems?
  2. Has the house been tested for mold, radon, lead, and/or asbestos?
  3. When was the last time the roof was replaced?
  4. Is the house in a flood zone?
  5. How much do the utilities cost?

If you are seriously interested in purchasing the property, here is additional information about the community you may want to know. The answers to these questions will help finalize your decision to make an offer.

  1. What is the neighborhood like?
  2. What’s within walking and driving distance?
  3. Is there a Homeowner’s Association?
  4. What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?
  5. Where can I get information on the local schools?

Knowing information about the neighborhood is just as important as knowing information about the house.  If you don’t like the neighborhood the house is in, then chances are you will not be satisfied with the house.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making Your Offer

  1. Will my furniture fit here?
  2. What’s the cell signal like?
  3. What updates would I make, if any?
  4. Can I picture this house becoming my home?

Open houses and showings are an excellent way to gather information about a particular home that has caught your interest. Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide whether a house is right for you, or not.  We are here to help you find a home that is a perfect match for you!

Central Ohio Poised For Record Year

(Dec. 22, 2020 – Columbus Ohio) – Housing market activity for November and the first 11 months of 2020 has proven surprisingly strong in the wake of a pandemic that continues to plague the country. Central Ohio home sales, prices are at record highs and homes are selling in record time, whereas inventory is at a record low according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

Home sales last month increased by 12.7 percent. Year to date sales are up 3.6 percent and poised to end 2020 as the highest sales year in central Ohio history.

Over 2,900 homes were put in contract in November suggesting yet another increase in sales for December.

Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 have accounted for 14 percent of the sales so far in 2020, up almost 28 percent from last year. Five percent of the homes sold during the first 11 months of 2020 sold for $500,000 to $700,000, an increase of 28.6 percent. And homes over $700,000, roughly two percent of the total homes sold this year, are showing an increase of almost 30 percent (146 homes).

Listings under $350,000, which make up almost 80 percent of the sales so far in 2020, are down 1.3 percent from last year.

“Homes over $350,000 are responsible for the increase in sales this year,” said Andy Mills, 2020 President of Columbus REALTORS®. “However, homes in the more affordable price ranges, which include options for most first-time home buyers, are down because we have simply don’t have the inventory to meet the demand.”

The average sales price of a home during the month of November was $269,391, up 15.3 percent from November of 2019. The median sales price last month was $235,000 which was an increase of 14.6 percent from a year ago.

The number of homes for sale dropped again in November to 2,591 which is 45.3 percent lower than a year ago and 19.7 percent lower than the previous month. This left central Ohio with less than a one-month supply meaning that, if no more homes were added to the market, those homes listed would be sold in less than a month at the current sales pace.

“Traditionally, housing activity recedes slightly when kids go back to school and the holidays approach,” said Mills. “But virtual school and flexible work from home schedules fueled by record low-interest rates have proven just the opposite as demand for housing continues to escalate.”

November 2020 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,600 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.