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.

Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers

Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers


Buyers and Sellers are traditionally thought of as adversaries, and while it’s true they often square off during negotiations, it’s possible for both buyers and sellers to win in one home sale! Part of the secret is to understand the other point of view so you can negotiate a winning compromise!

Home Buyers

Buyers are looking for a lower price, the home of their dreams with features important to them, a home that’s ready to occupy, a home in great condition, and a home that will be a good investment over time.

Home Sellers

Sellers are looking for a price that gives them a good profit, recognition of the value they see in their current home, an easy sale without having to do improvements or fixes, feeling that they’ve gotten the full value out of every improvement they’ve already made, and to feel that this house was a good investment and served them well.

How Realtors Negotiate Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers

Your REALTOR uses their knowledge of buyers and sellers to negotiate every day. The more you understand about how the negotiations work, the more flexible you may feel about meeting in the middle ground and allowing both parties to win.

For instance, rather than offering an opening bid so low that it can’t generate a counter-offer, your REALTOR may offer comparable homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood as proof that a lower price is reasonable. That gives sellers a reason to compromise.

Sellers may not want to replace the carpet or cracked bathroom tile at their expense as they are trying to move and close on the home in question. So, sellers may offer an “allowance” to offset the cost of new carpet. This provides them with more time, but acknowledges to the buyer that the carpet is getting older.

Perhaps the buyers are in a hurry to move in, but the sellers’ new home isn’t ready yet. The parties can close on the home and the sellers may agree to rent another home for a month until their new home is ready, or the buyers may agree to rent the home back to the sellers.  There are many solutions that can be found with a Realtor who is willing to dig deep and find the key negotiating points.

Take a deep breath and consider how you’ll feel when it’s your turn on the other side of the deal. Then get creative with your real estate professional to find solutions that create a win for both parties!

What is a Short Sale?

Columbus Oh Short Sale infoSimply put, a short sale is a home sale that is short of funds.

The homeowner is behind on their mortgage payments. There could be many reasons: loss of a job, bankruptcy, medical bills, etc. In today’s world he/she often can’t afford to sell the home because the home’s value is less than the mortgage payoff.

So, said homeowner goes to the lender and asks permission to sell the home for an amount that will not fulfill the payoff amount. The bank has to agree to this, since the bank will be taking a loss once the home is sold.

The good/bad for sellers are they can get out of a bad financial situation, but they will have a definite drop in their credit score. The bank wins because they get most of their money and do not have to foreclose and take over ownership of the property. A home buyer wins by buying a home that has a great selling price.

There are several things a savvy home buyer needs to know about a short sale:

  1. The property is sold ‘as-is’- any repairs or problems becomes the buyer’s future headache.
  2. These transactions are often long and delayed. Anticipate a roller-coaster ride to closing.
  3. While the seller’s bank has agreed to consider a short sale, this is frequently only a verbal discussion and there’s no guarantee the bank will agree to your price. (See number #2 above.) Check to see if the seller/lender has completed their short sale process and things are in writing.
  4. If there are two mortgages involved (and possibly two lenders), double the issues/process times two.

Since the flood of short sale homes (that started in 2009) has abated, many kinks have been worked out and the process has become smoother. Talk to your Columbus Team Realtor and lender, who can offer further advice and details to assure a smooth transaction.

Sellers: need to know more about the short sale process? Follow that link and call the Columbus Team today at 614.888.6100. We’re experts at handling home sales that are ‘short of funds’ in today’s market! It’s in your best interest to work with a real estate agent who has extensive experience with short sales.