Home Sales Dip In Central Ohio Tied To Record Low Inventory
After a record year for home sales in 2020 and a solid start to 2021 last month, central Ohio housing activity declined in February. Analysts still see the market here and statewide as resilient, given the continued inventory shortage.
February 2021 ended with 1,689 homes listed for sale, a nearly 50 percent drop from a year ago and the lowest on record according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Sales declined in central Ohio by nearly 3 percent last month compared with February 2020. Of additional concern, In Contracts - an indicator of future sales - dropped almost 12 percent.
Given the short supply, sellers are seeing multiple offers above the asking price according to Columbus REALTORS® President Michael Jones. He suggests buyers need to be prepared for that and move quickly. Homes under $350,000 took just 21 days to sell. The average sales price last month of $266,893 marks a 13.4 percent increase from a year ago.
Some areas did see an increase in new listings last month including Grove City, Gahanna, Groveport, downtown Columbus, Canal Winchester, Whitehall, Obetz, and Johnstown. A couple factors favor a rebound in supply. The Building Industry Association of Central Ohio reported that builders obtained close to 12,000 housing permits last year, a 46 percent increase from 2019. Initial numbers in January suggest a 32 percent increase in single-family permits. There's also an expectation that more sellers will enter the market this spring as more people receive the coronavirus vaccine.
New and existing home sales statewide last month saw a slight 0.6 percent decline from February 2020. The Ohio REALTORS Multiple Listing Service says 14 of the 16 markets tracked saw an increase in average price, while 9 experienced an increase in sale activity compared to a year ago.