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  • Brandon Alfriend

Ohio Real Estate Update | July 2021

Hello Ohioans! It's time for yet another real estate market update, and for the first time in a while, the forecast is a bit ambiguous. While the general narrative being proclaimed by industry and media is that the market is still booming, the data paints a more nuanced picture.

For example, the Columbus Board of Realtors' monthly report, titled "Record Sales at Record Prices in Record Time", while technically true, doesn't reflect the whole story. The title itself is based on the simple statistic that Central Ohio home sales set 3 key records in June - most homes sold in a single month (3,644), highest average sale price on record ($316,207), and lowest days on market ever (11). On the surface, this is incredible news for homeowners but there's more to the story.

Our interpretation of the data shows that June highlights a possible plateau in the decade-long seller's market. This isn't to say prices are dropping, but it does show that growth is possibly slowing. The fact that more homes were sold in June than any other month, while exciting, is merely a product of pent up demand and the fact that more people put their homes on the market. Central Ohio had 4,359 new listings last month, the most we've seen in years and a 23% increase over June 2020. The inventory shortage, at least last month, was less of an issue than it has been over the past year.

As for average home prices peaking at $316,207, this is, in fact, great news, but again, it shows a possible slowdown. Average prices from May to June increased by just 0.3% whereas the average over the past 2 years has been around 1%. In addition, median home prices remained flat at $275,000, which shows that the average is possibly skewed by spikes in certain areas, particularly in Bexley and Worthington.

Days on market is the final metric, and contrary to the last two stats, this one is pretty straightforward - homes, on average, are selling in 11 days, and that's really really fast. Michael Jones, President of Columbus REALTORS, recently said, “Ten years ago, it took almost 100 days to sell a home priced between $350,000 and $500,000. Last month, it took an average of ten days!” The actual average was closer to 11, but you get the point.

So what does all this mean? Is the seller's market coming to an end or is this just a blip? Some experts interpret this mixed feedback as response to a number of factors, including talks of rising interest rates, inflation, stimulus checks, an end to the foreclosure moratorium, and the COVID Delta variant. Another less esoteric factor could be summer vacation. With the kids out of school and travel more or less open for the first time in 18-month, some Ohioans are putting their home searches on hold. With schools opening up over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see what trends emerge, and as always, we'll be there to report what's happening.

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