Columbus Real Estate Professionals Call for New Housing Starts

The Columbus housing market started to show new signs of life over the past year. While the market is surging, some experts worry that new housing construction may be insufficient to meet growing demand. They are calling on lawmakers to increase housing starts to avoid a housing shortage.

Housing Sales Climb, Albeit at Slower PaceSold-Home

Housing sales in Columbus have continued rising over the past year. The Columbus Association of Realtors said that new sales decelerated in the summer, citing figures showing that the growth rate was half that witnessed in the first half of the year. While the market is growing at a slower rate, it is still gaining traction.

Since demand for housing in Columbus and adjacent community is rising, price increases are also. Median home prices in the region rose 5% in September.

“The market is hotter than previous years and both buyers and sellers have really gotten that message,” said Kathy Shiflet, president of the Columbus Association of Realtors.

Most experts expect that the market will keep growing for the foreseeable future. Price increases will likely follow, especially if the supply of new housing isn’t sufficient to serve the growing number of people relocating to Central Ohio.

Housing Starts Decrease from Previous Year

The Commerce Department recently announced that the number of new housing starts in Central Ohio decreased 16% from 2014. This contrasts with the national average, which shows that the housing starts rose 6.5% over the same time period.

Declining housing starts and rising demand could be setting the stage for a perfect storm for a housing shortage. This could lead to a couple of problems:

  • Rapidly rising prices that most consumers wouldn’t be able to afford.
  • A cooling housing market as many customers grow frustrated looking for housing in Columbus.

These problems could be avoided, but local officials must recognize the challenges. They are going to need to make creating new housing units a priority as demand continues to rise.

The data shows that housing construction across the country is starting to peter out. However, construction in other areas is still rising, even though at a slower pace than in 2014.

Fortunately, new solutions have been proposed, which could make a big difference in the months to come.   Fifteen organizations including Community Development for All People have started investing in the Housing Strategy Project, which will increase the number of housing units available to working and middle class residents. Katelin Hansen and other residents in South Columbus are pleased with the new project and confident it can solve the housing needs of many local residents.

Real estate professionals are also encouraged. They feel that creating new affordable housing will reduce pressure on the housing market to allow for sustainable growth.

Central Ohio Housing Market Expected to Remain Vibrant in 2016

The Central Ohio housing market has been one of the fastest in the country over the past year. Experts have debated whether the regional housing market would continue to rise for the months to come. A recent report from Nationwide Mutual Insurance suggests that the market is poised for further growth, is encouraging for the growing population.

Housing Outlook Remains Optimistic

The Central Ohio housing market was recently recognized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as being one of the fastest growing in the country. The NAR reported that sales fell 2.1% in 2014, but forecast that they would rise 8% in 2015. Sales data from local brokers suggests that these figures may actually exceed these predictions.housing-market-colored-homes

Nationwide Mutual Insurance tries to predict the direction of the housing market for at least a year. They have given the Central Ohio housing market a score of +2 in their third quarter report, which indicates that they expect the market to remain resilient for the next 12 months.

The scale used to rate housing markets is ranked on a -4 to +4 continuum. Nationwide uses several metrics to determine the direction of the market, which include:

  • Job growth
  • Demographic changes
  • Access to financing
  • Acceleration and deceleration of housing prices

These factors show that the market may have another record year in 2016. Only 12 regions received a higher ranking of +3, while 156 tied Central Ohio for a +2 ranking. No housing market in the country received a ranking of +4.

The rest of the country’s housing market isn’t performing quite as well, although it is still experiencing healthy growth after freefalling during the recession. A number of local factors are affecting demand for housing at the regional level. For example, the economies of a number of smaller communities are heavily dependent on their energy industries, since they are home to coal, gas and other energy producing resources. These markets received lower rankings, since energy prices have fallen in recent months.

Rising sales from the past few months appear to corroborate these predictions. The Columbus Realtors group presented data showing that Central Ohio housing sales increased by 9.8% in August. Their data shows that twice as many home sales took place over the past 46 days as average. The report also stated that housing prices have risen much more slowly, which suggests that the market may have plenty of room to grow.


Northern Ohio Condos Sales Increase Nearly 12% in June

The Ohio housing market has been growing rapidly over the last few years. Demand for condos in the northern part of the state has been especially strong. According to Michelle Jarboe McFee, condo sales increased 11.6% between January and June, but could rise even higher before the end of the year.

Northern Ohio Housing Market Continues to Accelerate

The housing market throughout most of Ohio has been home-salesstronger in 2015 than any other year since the beginning of the recession. However, the market has been particularly strong in Northern Ohio. Data from the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service shows that sales have risen five times faster in the northern region than the rest of the state.

The report may be surprising after recent data detailed the strength of the Central Ohio housing market. recently reported that Columbus has the fifteenth strongest housing market in the country. However, while the market for homes in Central Ohio is particularly strong, the market appears to be growing much faster in the northern parts of the state.

Economists are confident that the economy will continue to grow through 2015. They believe that the stronger job market and increased business activity in Ohio will lead to a stronger housing market before the end of the year.

Condo Market is Particularly Resilient

The demand for condominiums and single family homes is poised to grow even faster than demand for other units in 2015. There are probably several factors that are affecting demand for condos and other smaller properties in the area:

  • A growing number of millennials are choosing not to have children or are waiting longer before starting families.
  • The strong job market appears to be drawing recent college graduates from other states to Ohio.
  • Many families chose to downsize during the recession and have become more adjusted to living minimalist lifestyles. They may prefer living in smaller homes.
  • Debt remains a concern for many Ohio homeowners. According to a recent report, a growing number of Dayton homeowners are underwater with their mortgages. These families may also want to live in smaller homes to save money.

Demand for all forms of housing is expected to continue to rise throughout the rest of the year. The market should prove especially strong as the job market and other sectors of the economy grow. However, the market for condos in Northern Ohio is one of the most hottest in the state.


Central Ohio Real Estate Market Starts to Boom After Years of Stagnation

The housing market in Central Ohio was stagnant for several years after the recession. However, recent reports indicate that the market is starting to gain traction. The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) showed that the number of new homes and condos on the market increased 15.2% between March and April and 7.4% year-over-year. Many experts are confident that the market is going to continue rising for the foreseeable future.

Housing Experts Surprised by Sudden Turnaround

The Central Ohio housing market didn’t fare well after the recession. Part of the reason may have beendue to the fact that the state unemployment rate was higher than the national average for several years. However, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the benefit-from-housing-marketunemployment rate in the state is now on par with the rest of the country. This could be one of the factors that is driving the recent housing recovery.

Regardless of the driving factors behind the sudden uptick in housing sales, housing experts throughout the state are highly encouraged by the recent developments.  Kathy Shiflet, President of Columbus REALTORS®, is among the optimistic experts.

“Central Ohio sellers have gotten the message that it’s truly a great time to put your home on the market, which was made apparent by the significant number of new homes listed in April,” Shiflet stated on her company’s website. “It’s clear the central Ohio housing market is really beginning to heat up!”

Both housing prices and sales have clearly risen. If job creation and other stimulus efforts are continued, then the trend will probably be sustainable for the near future.

Recovery Benefits Sellers Over Buyers

While the housing recovery is encouraging overall, sellers are ultimately the ones benefiting from it. The average home price rose 4.4% from the previous month, which limits opportunities for prospective buyers that were seeking a bargain.

Many real estate professionals report that the recovery has led to bidding wars between buyers, which could create frustrations for people that are trying to find a new home. According  to the Columbus Dispatch¸ the bidding wars are most concentrated in Central Ohio cities such as Upper Arlington and Clintonville.

Ken Wightman, an agent for Berkshire Hathaway, acknowledged that sellers and their agents are ultimately the beneficiaries of the new trend. “When we put a property on the market now, we’ll get multiple bids — that’s automatic,” he said.

Sellers realize that they are the ones holding the cards in the current market. They are giving buyers a deadline to give their best offer.