Central Ohio home prices continued their record ascent in July, as the one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets shows no sign of cooling.
The median price of a Columbus-area home rose to a record $220,000 during the month, up from $205,000 a year ago and a full $50,000 above July 2015. Through the first seven months of the year, prices have risen more than 8% compared with the same period last year.
Despite climbing prices, buyers still lined up at the door. During July, 3,334 central Ohio homes changed hands, up 3.9% from July 2018. Typical homes sold after 23 days on the market and fetched more than 98% of their asking prices.
The persistent demand for central Ohio homes led the region to be declared one of the nation’s hottest housing markets in July.
Statewide, sales rose 2.8% and prices climbed 7.7% from last July, led by big price jumps in smaller cities such as Lancaster, Lima and Marion.
“Home sales activity heated up in July,” said Ohio Realtors President Anjanette Frye. “Equally important, the market posted a continued, steady rise in the average sale price.”
Nationally, sales jumped 2.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million while prices rose 4.3%. Sales and prices continue to be driven by a shortage of homes for sale and by mortgage rates, which fell to 3.6% this week for a 30-year loan, the lowest rate in almost three years.
“Falling mortgage rates are improving housing affordability and nudging buyers into the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors. However, he added that the supply of affordable housing is severely low. “The shortage of lower-priced homes has markedly pushed up home prices.”
Homes are especially hard to find in lower price ranges, something experts hope will change with a new federal law that allows more condominiums to be financed with Federal Housing Administration loans.
“Condos are often the most affordable, attractive option for first-time home buyers,” said John Myers, 2019 president of Columbus Realtors. “These new rules have the potential to transform our housing market and regional economy, easing affordability constraints, maximizing first-time homebuyer assistance programs and putting homeownership in reach for countless families.”
Tribune Content Agency