Available Inventory Still Low in Central 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.”

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