Housing Market Update
Spring is here; however, instead of another record setting season in real estate, we are facing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Ohio school and business closings, and stay at home orders did not start until March, February was still a record setting month in local real estate. Last month, Central Ohio saw a record number of homes sales. There were 1,976 homes and condominiums sold during the month of February, a 13.3 percent increase over the previous year and record high for the month, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.
For the first two months of the year, home sales are up to 3,745 which is 11.5 percent above the same period in 2019 and another record high for the period.
“Overall, home sales took a leap over the previous month – from 1,745 to 1,976 sales, which in a normal market and economy would signal an early start of a busy spring. Now we are moving into unchartered territory putting all statistical data on hold,” said Andy Mills, 2020 President of Columbus REALTORS®.
In February, the average sales price of a home was $235,371, up 6.7 percent over the same month a year ago. The median sales price was $210,000 which was a 10.7 percent increase over February 2019.
Despite the current “Stay at Home” order in Ohio, real estate transactions are still taking place. We had a number of homes go into contract in January and February, and are just now closing. Real estate services, including lending services, appraisals, inspections, and title services are all considered essential businesses and operations. However, all realtors, brokerages, lenders, and title companies are taking every precaution to maintain a safe transaction and are following all social distancing protocols.
Drive-by appraisals and drive-up closings are just a couple of the ways the real estate industry is adjusting to these new regulations. Realtors are also doing showings and list appointments via FaceTime or Skype.
There are still buyers wanting to take advantage of the record low interest rates, and there are still sellers who have to sell their homes right now; and, we are helping them through these transitions and transactions in the safest ways we can.