National Group Predicts 2020 Will Be Strong Year For Central Ohio Housing Market

Dec 11, 2019

The nation’s largest association of real estate professionals expects the Central Ohio housing market to continue to outperform most other large metro areas in 2020.

“What we expect in the next three to five years is there’s a lot of people moving to your local and we know it’s very attractive, so we think it’s going to outperform in comparison to the 100 top metro areas in the U.S,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of the National Association of Realtors.

The group is hosting its first Real Estate Forecast Summit on Wednesday, where they’ll review 2019 trends and release housing market forecasts for the coming years.

Speaking the day before the summit, Lautz said Columbus will continue to be one of the top 10 “outperforming” housing markets.

“There is consistent job growth in your area, and it’s above the national average growth,” Lautz says. “In your local area, it’s relatively affordable in comparison to other metro areas, so it’s very attractive for people to move there, and so you’re going to continue to see migration into the region from other states.”

And that increased demand will likely continue to drive up prices, a trend sure to please realtors but pinch the pocketbooks of prospective homeowners. It's especially concerning for first-time buyers as the housing stock declines.

In October (the most recent month available), the average Central Ohio home sold for $239,729, up 6.3% over last year. The median sale price of $205,000 was 5.7% higher than in October 2018. That meant by the end of October, the number of homes for sale in Central Ohio was about 3% below the same time of 2018.

Lautz says one reason for the lack of homes for sale is builders have declined or been unable to build homes at a price point for first-time buyers.

Earlier this year, the group Columbus Realtors took the relatively rare step of telling people about a looming “market correction.” That followed months of escalating prices amid low inventories, a trend still continuing in Central Ohio.

“Given the low unemployment, wage growth and low interest rates, most economists today don’t foresee a recession in the near future," the September release said. "However, the housing market along with the economy is cyclical and a market correction is inevitable at some point."

Despite that concern, Lautz doesn't have any fear of a “housing bubble” on the horizon.

“No, in your local area especially, because we are seeing relative affordability, because we do see on a nationwide scale that mortgage credit conditions are tight, there’s no concern of a bubble," Lautz says. "The demand is there. It’s from homebuyers who want a primary residence.”