First-time buyers in Central Ohio may have more trouble finding their dream home this spring and summer, the peak time for home sales.
The tight housing market could lead many potential buyers to stay in the rental market. Rising home prices could also make buying a home out of reach.
“That’s certainly one of the challenges for buyers today is the fact that they can’t find the kind of house that they want to buy, in the location where they want to live," says Rob Vogt with Vogt Strategic Insights. "So it’s continuing to be a challenge to find a house.”
Vogt says the lack of available homes in desired areas like Upper Arlington, Grandview and Bexley could affect the number of overall sales.
Vogt says the new home market is relatively flat. New home permits are way below where they stood before the Recession in Central Ohio, which includes all of Franklin County, and parts of Delaware, Fairfield and Union counties.
Vogt says officials permitted 4,100 new homes in 2017 - that's down from about 7,000 permits per year before the Recession.
“I think the bigger challenge is the cost of land, the cost of regulations," Vogt says. "All of those items have driven up the cost of a house well beyond what an entry-level buyer can afford. So they end up driving as far out of town to find a place they can afford.”
Vogt says it's difficult for builders to construct a single-family home for under $250,000.
Vogt calls today's housing market the "best seller home market we've had in probably the history of Central Ohio."
Vogt says home sellers can take advantage of this market.
“I think that they can be more aggressive in their asking price," Vogt says. "They probably don’t have to make the improvements to their house that they might have had to make previously.”