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First-Time Home Buyer Savings Act Passed out of the Ohio House of Representatives

First- Time Homebuyer act legislation update - house with money

One of the biggest purchases most people ever make is a house to call home.

Finding the finance to move from rented property to your first home purchase is a challenge.

The Columbus Team and many other REALTORS in Ohio felt that it was time to change this. We believe everyone should be encouraged and supported to make their dream of home ownership come true. 

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes lobbying our legislators to create a blueprint whereby the Government will help first time home purchasers save for their down-payment by making it tax deductible.

This is not a one-way street though. We know that when people move from rented accommodation to owning their first property there’s a lot of additional money that’s spent on building, decorating, furnishings and appliances. All of this helps to boost our local commerce and keeps our community suppliers and tradespeople in business.  

We reported in May 2019 that:

“Senators Theresa Gavarone & Bob Peterson introduced Senate Bill 139 in the Ohio Senate to create a tax deductive savings account for Ohioans.”

This was great news, and now we are delighted to report that last week our priority legislation, House Bill 186 the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Act passed out of the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 94-0.

House Bill 186 “Enact First-time Home Buyer Savings Act”  was introduced by Rep. D.J.Swearingen and Rep. Shane Wilkin, and co-sponsored by Reps. Carfagna, Carruthers, Click, Cross, Edwards, Gross, Hillyer, Ingram, Kelly, LaRe, Riedel, Seitz, Sobecki, Weinstein.

It will now go through the committee stages in the Ohio Senate.

Ultimately, it will allow first time home buyers to create a capped, tax-deductible savings account (this is not a tax credit). They can save as much as they want but can only deduct $3k for a single filer or $6k for joint filers annually. There is a lifetime cap of $15k and $30k respectively.

The money in the account must be used within five years to purchase a home. If the saver uses it for other purposes, then back taxes and possibly a 10% penalty must be paid.

Funds can be used on a down-payment and/or closing costs

The Proponents of this Act include: 

  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce,
  • Ohio Bankers League, 
  • Ohio Land Title Association, 
  • Ohio REALTORS, 
  • Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, 
  • Ohio Credit Union League, 
  • Ohio Realtists, 
  • Ohio Homebuilders Association 

It has NO opponents.

We are all helping to promote smart saving and financial responsibility and planning.

The bill now moves over to the Ohio Senate where it will go through the committee process. 

We will keep you posted on any further movements on this bill or you can follow its progress on the Ohio Legislature website.

Central Ohio Housing Report – November 2021

November 2021 Housing Report: 2021 Home Sales Have Already Passed 2020

There have been 33,548 homes and condominiums sold in central Ohio this year (January through November). Not only is this 9.3 percent higher than the same period last year, but it surpasses the total number of homes sold (33,431) in 2020.

Sales last month were 8.7 percent higher than last year and set a record for home sales during the month of November.

The median sale price increased 11.4 percent to $261,835 in November, and the average price of $295,723 marked a 9.8 percent increase from last year.

Although housing activity slows heading into the winter months, November saw the highest number of new listings since November 2007. Year to date (January through November), new listings are up to 38,033.

“The last time we had this many new listings was in 2010 when there were 17,471 homes for sale and sales were less than half of what they are today,” said Michael Jones, 2021 President of Columbus REALTORS®. “So, the fact remains, we are not seeing fewer homes being listed, we’re seeing an exponential increase in the number of folks looking to buy in central Ohio.”

The high demand left inventory at 2,619 and the months supply at 0.9 which means, if no more homes were added to the market, buyers would deplete the stock in less than a month.

“Even with the seasonality of real estate in central Ohio, we’re still seeing strong buyer activity,” added Jones. “With economists forecasting mortgage interest rate increases for 2022, sidelined buyers shouldn’t procrastinate too long.

Roughly one in five homes (19.3 percent) were cash transactions in November. Of those buyers that financed their home purchase, just over half (53.1 percent) used conventional financing, 9.4 percent used FHA financing and 4.6 percent secured a VA loan.

It took an average of 17 days to sell a home in November. Homes under $500,000 sold in an average of 16 days. Homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range sold in an average of 20 days, and homes over $700,000 were on the market for an average of 39 days.

For the first eleven months of 2021, homes have sold in an average of 16 days. Breaking this down by price range, homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 14 days. Homes priced $350,000 -$500,000 took 17 days. Homes between $500,000 and $700,000 took 24 days to sell and homes over $700,000 sold in an average of 36 days.

November 2021 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of almost 9,500 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, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

Central Ohio Housing Report – October 2021

The average sale price of a home in central Ohio is up 12.9 percent year-to-date. Property sales over $350,000 are rising and homes listed from $350,000 to $500,000 average only 15 days to sell! No need to wait until the holidays are over before you list; buyers are looking for your home right now.

October 2021 central Ohio Housing Report: Home sales increase despite drop in new listings

Home sales and prices showed healthy increases in October despite a slight drop in the number of homes added to the market.

Home sales were up 5.0 percent in October to 3,395. At 30,497 year-to-date (January through October), home sales are on track to set a new annual record for central Ohio.

There were 3,336 homes listed for sale in October, down 1.5 percent from last year and 8.6 percent from the previous month according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

“We had fewer listings added to the market in October, but that’s more a factor of seasonality,” said Michael Jones, 2021 President, Columbus REALTORS®. “Housing activity usually slows down a little when the temperatures start to cool and the holidays are approaching.”

The median sale price increased 8.9 percent to $261,478 and the average sale price was up 8.2 percent in October to $298,473.

Year to date, the average sale price is $298,730 and the median sale price is $260,000, up 12.9 percent and 12.6 percent respectively.

“Although, we’re still seeing high demand for homes in all price ranges, last month, homes sales over $350,000 were responsible for increased market shares,” added Jones. “We saw fewer homes sold under $350,000 due, in great part, to the lack of adequate supply.”

Roughly one in four homes (23.8 percent) were cash transaction in October. Of those buyers that financed their home purchase, 58.4 percent used conventional financing, ten percent used FHA financing and 4.8 percent secured a VA loan.

It took an average of 15 days to sell a home in October.

Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 13 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 15 days to sell. Homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range sold in an average of 21 days, and homes over $700,000 were on the market for an average of 32 days.

For the first ten months of 2021, homes have sold in an average of 16 days. Breaking this down by price range, homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 13 days. Homes priced $350,000 -$500,000 took 17 days. Homes between $500,000 and $700,000 took 24 days to sell and homes over $700,000 sold in an average of 36 days.

October 2021 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of almost 9,500 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, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

Move To Columbus, Ohio – Come For The Culture, Stay For The Community

Move To Columbus, Ohio - Come For The Culture, Stay For The Community (Event on Columbus Riverfront)

There are those moments when you look at your lifestyle and realize that something must change.

You may have lived the city life and built some transferable career skills but now’s the time to readjust the work/life balance.

Perhaps the kids are grown and you’re looking for some new adventures.

Most big cities and their surrounding suburbs have become cultural deserts. Sky high prices to match the height of the apartment blocks. Traffic jams that look more like parking lots. Not the sort of place you want to fill your lungs on your morning run.

It’s at moments like this that you dream of a perfect city with a low cost of living, open spaces, plenty of commercial growth, cultural fulfilment and a community spirit that feeds a bright and successful future.

In short you may be dreaming of a move to Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus Is Highly Ranked For Livability

Columbus is the state capital of Ohio and the 14th largest city in the U.S. The population of around 910,000 is growing at a rate of 0.85% annually so clearly a lot of people feel that this is a great place to live and work.

Columbus is noted for its high proportion of green spaces even in the downtown area giving the whole city a feeling of openness. This isn’t just confined to the street plan. 

There are welcoming festivals and community events almost every weekend in the summer and fall. A diverse range of cultures, arts, sports and music are celebrated with pride. Everything from the 4th of July to Oktoberfest is covered. Ethnic festivals for Greek, Asian, Irish and Latino communities bear witness to Columbus’s depth of culture.

Central Ohio offers over 50 unique craft breweries, many renowned coffee roasters and a dynamic and industries farm to table movement for the foodie adventurers! Take the Columbus Ale Trail or the Columbus Coffee Trail to wet your whistle on some local favorites. Columbus Food Adventures abound with guided walking tours and even Taco Truck- Food Truck Tours.

This is a city that cares about providing the best living conditions in the country. A cost of living 11% lower than the national average has proved attractive to large companies that want the best people working for them. Startups are thriving in an environment where innovative technology is being harnessed to create a Smart City. A $40 million Department of Transportation grant is being used to fund 15 smart city projects. All this is creating a wonderful environment for commercial development. Columbus is home to some of the country’s top companies.

Columbus has community baked in

If you’re looking for the exhilaration of city life, close to work but with a wide variety of after work leisure facilities then downtown and nearby walkable neighborhoods like Short North, German Village and Old Towne East have everything. Restaurants with international flavors, bars, theatres, a movie multiplex and vibrant music scene. Places to meet and relax for every taste. 

A little further out but still within 15 minutes of downtown, the inner ring suburbs including Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights and Bexley offer great schools and established homes with tree-lined streets. 

The outer suburbs of Hilliard, New Albany and Dublin have newer homes and high rated school districts.  

If country living appeals, then there are rural neighborhoods like Fairfield, Delaware and Hocking. The spectacular wilderness landscapes that surround the city are within easy reach.

A Commute Time That’s Well Below The National Average

Central Ohio Transit Authority, COTA, offers city bus routes to connect the greater Columbus area with a no-hassle commuter experience. Local and express trips run daily and users can obtain daily and monthly passes. Columbus also offers the CoGo Bike Share in addition to a couple of Scooter options with Bird and Lime Scooter rentals.  Car users can take advantage of the reasonably low traffic congestion to get around without extreme commute times. The region is crossed by eight major interstate highways, so Columbus is within a one-day drive or one hour flight of over half the population of the U.S and Canada.

Relax at the end of the working week and feed the soul

Columbus boasts 20 theater companies, 102 art galleries and 16 museums. The national top ranked zoo is a firm favorite with children of all ages and the science museum is ready to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers.  There’s more park space per capita than any other city in the U.S.

Multiple golf courses, team sports grounds, water sports and bicycling trails will keep you active. If you prefer to take your sports participation from the stands, then there’s NHL Hockey, Major League Soccer, a PGA Tour Event and minor league baseball team. Ohio State Athletics is of course legendary.

Education And Healthcare Are A Big Deal In Columbus

Columbus has a top-rated K-12 school system and over 50 college and university campuses. There’s a huge array of higher education opportunities offered by The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College. There’s also Capital University and the Columbus College of Art and Design.  

If you’re raising a family or planning a well-earned retirement, it’s reassuring to know that Columbus is home to some of the finest healthcare providers in the nation. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Ohio Health system and OSU Medical Center will take good care of you.

Columbus Has A Neighborhood And Home For Everybody

With a housing cost 23% below the national average there’s something to suit every pocket. Whether you’re moving to Columbus to enhance your career choices, settling down to raise a family or looking for the perfect place to retire you’ll find your ideal home here.

With open spaces, walkable neighborhoods, and a wide variety of properties to buy or rent you can build your future and keep your family close. 

Columbus thrives on community, culture, support and diversity.

The challenge will be deciding what neighborhood to choose.

That’s where The Columbus Team is happy to help.

Call us at 614-888-6100 and let us show you your ideal home.

Central Ohio Housing Report – September 2021

The highest number of new listings came on the market in the third quarter of 2021. The last time this many homes were listed in a single quarter was 2006! Of those new listings almost 90 percent went into contract. Read the entire market report below for more interesting facts about central Ohio housing.

Record Listings & Sales in 3rd Quarter

Although inventory has been decreasing for the better part of 12 years, the central Ohio housing market saw year over year gains in the third quarter resulting in record home sales.

Third quarter saw 12,291 homes added to the market, which was almost 13 percent higher than 2020 (10,903). This is the highest number of new listings added in a quarter since 2006 when total inventory was over 18,600 and REALTORS® were selling 53 percent of the new listings.

Last quarter, home sales averaged over 3,600 as REALTORS® sold almost 90 percent of the new listings setting new records for home sales in central Ohio.

“Tight inventory over the past several years created a very competitive market causing some angst for many home buyers,” said Michael Jones, 2021 President, Columbus REALTORS®. “The increase in new listings has been a benefit and, as a result, we saw significant increases in homes that went into contract or have already sold.”

The average sale price increased 8.5 percent to $301,572 and the median price was $269,900 in September, a gain of 12.5 percent. Year to date, the average sale price was $298,817 and the median sale price was $260,000, up 13.5 percent and 13.0 percent respectively.

Conventional financing still reigns with almost 64 percent of the home sales in 2021.

The share of homes that sold for cash, versus financing, is just over 20 percent this year which is 1.5 percent more than in 2016, but still 7.3 percent fewer than homes sold a decade ago.

“Cash sales have been credited as the reason many home buyers have been at a disadvantage in getting the winning contract,” said Jones. “However, this new data suggests that buyers seeking financing still dominate the lion’s share of home sales and can be successfully competitive.”

The time it took to sell a home rose to 14 days last month.

Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 12 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 15 days to sell. Homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range sold in an average of 19 days, and homes over $700,000 were on the market for an average of 26 days.

For the first three quarters of 2021, homes have sold in an average of 16 days. Breaking this down by price range, homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 13 days. Homes priced $350,000 -$500,000 took 17 days. Homes between $500,000 and $700,000 took 25 days to sell and homes over $700,000 sold in an average of 36 days.

September 2021 Housing Report

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of almost 9,500 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, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.