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.

Best Place to Invest In Real Estate

As the pandemic drags on, home sales in Columbus, Ohio have definitely been affected. However, the numbers show very clearly that the effects are positive. In August 2020, we experienced robust activity for both buyers and sellers. Homes sold more quickly as well. Ohio continues to be listed nationwide as one of the best places to invest in real estate.

Another unusual aspect involves the effects of school closures on families that traditionally move during the summer months. They will now have a longer period of time to find a new place and get settled. In spite of continuing cases of covid-19 reported in Ohio, the general public is doing its best to return to normal. There are positive signs afoot and families do seem to be looking forward more this year to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keep reading to learn all the specifics.

Record home sales in August!

(Sept. 22, 2020 – Columbus Ohio) – The central Ohio housing market saw record home sales in August 2020 as almost 3,400 homes and condominiums changed hands, up almost five percent from last year and the highest number of sales documented for this late summer month.
The number of homes closed during the first three quarters of 2020 is now just 1.3 percent behind 2019 according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.
“Traditionally we experience a higher number of sales in August as buyers seek to move into a new home prior to the start of the school year,” said Andy Mills, 2020 Columbus REALTORS® President. “However, given that so many children are now attending school virtually, or in a hybrid situation, that opens up a broader time frame for families to pursue a move.”

Days on Market.  Record home sales continue to prove that Ohio is one of the Best Places to Invest In Real Estate

Homes sold even more quickly than in months past during August. Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 17 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 75 days to sell.
Although the number of residential homes and condominiums for sale during the month of August 2020 trailed the previous month by just 7.0 percent, the month was 47.0 percent less than the number for sale during August 2019.
There were 3,600 homes newly listed for sale last month providing motivated buyers additional inventory to consider.
As a result, there were almost 4,200 homes put into contract in August, a jump of 14.9 percent from 2019 and up slightly (0.8 percent) from July 2020.
For the second consecutive month, the average sale price exceeded the last list price. The average sale price in August was $279,134, up 12.8 percent from last year and the median sale price of $243,000 rose 13.8 percent over August 2019.

“Real estate has been, and remains, the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services, and income for millions of Americans,” added Mills. “Accounting for nearly 15 percent of the Ohio gross state product, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy.”

Current housing report – August 2020

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,100 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.

Our response to COVID-19

Clients and friends,

We value our relationships with our clients, friends, families, fellow agents, affiliates, and partners. We look forward to being part of the fabric of this great community for many years to come.

We just want you to know we are here to help and you can call or text us directly:
Sue: 614-419-3100
Patrick: 614-204-8084
Erin: 614-598-3121
Mary: 614-419-3929
Terry: 614-579-9141
Heather: 614-329-2651
Edie: 614-915-8657
Jeanne: 614-402-3065

Our hearts go out to our families with children with school shutdowns, our seniors in assisted living, our neighbors at the hospitals, our local businesses struggling and everyone impacted by the pandemic. We are immensely grateful for all of the heroes in the medical profession and all 1st responders who are working tirelessly to help during this global crisis.

Our team has many decades of experience that come to bear daily in our real estate business in Columbus and Central Ohio. The heart of our business is always about helping people and connecting people with resources. We are fortunate to have an extensive network of people who may be able to help you out for a trip to the grocery store, watching children or even getting bills paid.

There are so many good people in the Columbus area that are happy to be of service. Call us if you need anything. It does not need to be about real estate. It can be a personal issue and we’ll always work to assist you in some way!

We’ve been asked “How do I sell my home at this time?”

Homes are still selling. Our Federal Reserve just dropped their interest rate to near zero to keep money moving for people buying homes. It’s quite unprecedented.

We can video conference, if you prefer, instead of an in-home selling consultation. We’ll likely have enough information to list your property for sale with a quick tour on your phone, tablet or laptop.

We can even guide you to shoot photos, if you prefer, to keep our professional photographer out of your home. You may be surprised what we can do with our photo editing tools and an iPhone these days! We are taking extra measures to maintain social distance for home buyers looking at our listings as well including limiting showings to one showing at a time. We can even do a virtual showing for our buying clients with a live video tour or facetime call at a property. We are skilled at adapting to the situation at hand and will continue to evolve with the help of our tech tools to help you reach your real estate goals.

If we do need to show your home, we’ll be providing a hand washing station and anything else the CDC recommends to lower everyone’s risk of infection. Safety is our #1 priority.

Some of the top google searches now in real estate are “home prices dropping” and “home prices falling”. That’s not the case at this time. We’ll continue to keep you updated on this.

We are here to guide you and make fact-based, researched decisions if you need to sell your home (or buy one) since life must go on for those in situations who need to move.

This may be you or someone you know. Please know that we have your back.

We are here to help if you need anything. Stay in touch and let us know.

We are inspired by the resourceful and creative ways so many of our friends and family members are finding ways to endure the quarantine with young children. Some of the great ideas coming out of our network include:

  • Create a scavenger hunt for your kids that lead from room to room
  • Take a virtual field trip to a museum or zoo every day
  • Write letters to family members, friends or even 1st responders
  • Read a book aloud to each other
  • Start a cooking challenge
  • Download a free Geocaching app from your app store & join a treasure hunt

Remember these words from Mother Teresa: “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”

Your Real Estate Team,
Sue, Patrick, Erin, Mary, Terry, Heather, Edie, Jeanne and Lisa

TCT Hotline: 614-888-6100
Email: Homes@TheColumbusTeam.com