Is the housing market opening up?
After two consecutive months of new listing declines, homes added to the market in March jumped 51.1 percent from the previous month. The 3,094 homes listed last month showed a marked improvement from the 2,047 new listings in February and 2,187 in January. Buyers moved quickly on the added inventory putting 3,289 homes in contract, up 36.2 percent from February and 8.2 percent from last year. This left the number of homes available for sale at the end of March at 1,639, down 51.9 percent from March of 2020, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service As a result, months supply remains at 0.6 which means that, if no more homes were listed for sale, it would take just a couple weeks to sell the available inventory at the current sales pace. “Inventory levels remain at record lows due to the significant increase in demand for homes in central Ohio that we’ve experienced for the last ten years,” said Michael Jones, 2021 Columbus REALTORS® President. “Meeting that demand is a process and will take time. As every seller creates an opportunity, we’re hopeful that more homeowners will enter the market as things open up this spring and summer.” Despite the drop in pending contracts reported in February, home sales increased almost 30 percent last month putting the first quarter of 2021 about three percent ahead of last year. The average home sale price rose to $272,723 during first quarter 2021, an increase of 13.1 percent from one year ago. At $233,500, the median sale price reflected a gain of 11.2 percent. The benchmark for affordable housing was raised from $180,000 to $215,000 to more accurately reflect how much home the ‘typical’ central Ohio family can purchase today if they make 80 percent of the area median income. The benchmark is calculated using the typical family size (2.47), area median income ($60,650), an FHA loan at 3.25 interest and qualifying front ration of 31 percent. Although homes have been selling in about 25 days this year, 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 20 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 33 days to sell. Homes sold between $500,000 and $700,000 sold in an average of 52 days and homes over $700,000 took an average of 64 days to sell.