Columbus home sales started 2012 with a boom. According to the Columbus Board of Realtors home sales increased by 6% in January. With 1,125 homes sold in January, we have reached the highest level since 2008. What’s even more exciting is the outlook for the rest of the winter. The number of pending contracts (1,845) increased by a full 41% over January 2011.
This seems to indicate that we have a lot of growth ahead of us. Home sales in Columbus beat almost all expectations in the second half of 2011. With the warm weather continuing throughout February, home sales should continue to increase throughout 2012.
The offical sales stats for February won’t be released until March 20. So, I searched the MLS myself, to find out how many homes sold in Februray and how that number compares to 2011.
According to the MLS 1,158 homes sold in Central Ohio this February. That’s 2.5% more than a year ago. A slight increase from the previous year.
What worries most property owners is the continued drop in home values. The median sales price slid by 7.3% in January, the average sales price only dropped by 1.7%. I believe this is largely due to a number of distress sales, such as foreclosures, short-sales and REOs, which are purchased by investors for substantial discounts. Approximately 17% of all home sales in Central Ohio are foreclosures.
Price changes are very regional. They differ significantly from city to city, and depend on the village, township or school district you live in. Here are a few examples of price changes in January 2012:
- Home values increased in Bexley, Delaware, Granville, London, Powell and Worthington
- Home values decreased in Whitehall, Sunbury, Reynoldsburg, Groveport, Gahanna, Canal Winchester and Clintonville
The number of homes listed for sale is way below last year’s number. Only 11,322 Columbus OH homes were available for sale at the end of January. That’s 26.5% less than a year ago. It represents a 6 month inventory (down from 9 months a year ago), which indicates a 33% drop in our housing supply.
If closings continue at the same pace as in January, our supply of homes for sale will dwindle. Therefore, home prices will begin to rise soon.
For prospective buyers this means that the selection of homes for sale will be very limited, homes will become more expensive, and we are headed towards a sellers market.
I strongly believe that now (February 2012) is a perfect time for you to list your house. As demand increases, credit eases, and the supply of quality homes shrinks, you will be able to sell it quickly.
Interest rates are still at historic lows. Once they start to rise, as many economists predict, we may see another damper on the housing market.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, give me a call at (614) 975-9650! I can help you facilitate the best real estate transaction possible in this election year.