There are two sides to a coin. That’s been the prevailing feeling around the real estate market in central Ohio over the last six to eight months.
While the average and median sales prices have continued to increase, the increase in mortgage rates has caused the total number of sales to decline.
The central Ohio housing statistics provided by Columbus REALTORS® show a 19.2 percent decrease in closed sales year over year for the month of January. There were 1,515 closed sales in the first month of 2023, which more closely mirrored the pre-pandemic years of 2018 (1,635) and 2019 (1,602).
Columbus REALTORS® 2023 President Patti Brown-Wright can sense that buyers and sellers are in a bit of a holding pattern.
“There is still plenty of demand in the greater Columbus area, but January is historically a tough time for sales. A lot of homeowners are sitting tight in their current homes, so the inventory isn’t as plentiful,” said Brown-Wright.
Last month there were 1,458 new listings in central Ohio, and this month there was a 28 percent increase, up to 1,873. The total inventory of homes for sale is 2,471, which marks a 29 percent uptick over last year’s January inventory.
On Feb. 2, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission issued its updated models that project the region to balloon to 3.15 million people over the next 25 years. That growth will equate to an additional 272,000 households.
“These projections are exciting for the area,” said Brown-Wright. “It’s also a warning shot. It is time for us to encourage key stakeholders to build the houses, schools, and infrastructure that this type of growth will demand.”
One trend that is becoming more noticeable month-to-month is that buyers are becoming more willing to venture outside of the I-270 loop to find a home. In January, Pickerington saw a 17.5 percent spike in closed sales while the average sale price rose 15 percent to $411,000. The same can be said for Lancaster, where closed sales were up 17.6 percent while the average sale price climbed up 8.3 percent to $224,308.
Licking County has been under the microscope with Intel’s “Ohio One” semiconductor campus now under construction. Housing inventory in Johnstown, New Albany, and Granville has been limited, so buyers are turning their attention to other towns like Pataskala to find their forever home. In January, Pataskala saw a 29 percent increase in closings with an average sales price of $361,626.