How hot is the Columbus real estate market right now?
- One Westerville home on sale recently had 80 showings in a span of three days, real estate agent Buffie Patterson tells Axios.
- The owners had to sift through more than 40 offers.
What they’re saying: “We’re very blessed here in Central Ohio that people want to live here … it’s just a desirable place to be right now,” says Patterson, who followed in her parents’ footsteps to get her real estate license as a teenager.
- She started her own brokerage in 2014 and is now secretary of the Columbus Realtors Board of Directors.
The big picture: Housing inventory has not kept pace with demand spurred by area job growth, meaning heavy competition for nearly every home on the market.
By the numbers: In this seller’s market, buyers have to do more than just open their pocketbooks.
- The median sale price in the Columbus region increased to $260,000 in 2021, a 12% jump from 2020, per a Columbus Realtors report.
- The average sale was 2% above listing price.
- Patterson regularly sees homebuyers make sacrifices (such as forgoing inspections) to edge out the competition.
What’s next: As for 2022, Patterson sees the Columbus area remaining a seller’s market for the time being. “Things are not slowing down,” she says.
Tips from the pros:
1. It’s a good time to sell … and buy
- Low inventory is driving fierce competition that “isn’t for the faint of heart,” which favors sellers, says Sue Van Woerkom, president of Columbus Realtors and a 24-year real estate veteran.
- But, she adds, with interest rates at historic lows, buyers can save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage loans if they jump into the fray.
2. The key price point: $300,000
- Anything under that is a “bloodbath,” as Van Woerkom puts it. But even homes up to $500,000 are still moving fast.
3. Some tips for buyers, to sweeten the deal
- A lender will only loan you the appraised value of a home. But offering a seller straight cash above that amount has become the norm, not the exception, Van Woerkom says.
- You can also offer to assist with a seller’s closing costs.
- The best offer isn’t always the highest price, though. Offering flexibility with moving timelines or waving an inspection — if you’re comfortable with that — can also help.
4. Keep an eye on under-the-radar homes
- Look out for houses still on the market after 10 days, Patterson says. They might have certain issues, but are still worth pursuing compared to more in-demand properties.
5. Know your neighborhoods
- Research which neighborhoods are investing in local infrastructure and housing: “Maybe that neighborhood is not desirable today, but it’s going to be desirable in the future,” Patterson adds.