CINCINNATI — Just when you thought the housing market couldn't get any worse for buyers, a new report found that Ohio home prices are at their highest rate in recorded history.
Just-released figures from the Ohio Realtors group show how hot the housing market is this year. Home prices rose just over 20 percent in the Cincinnati market in the April 2020 to April 2021 period.
That is the highest one-year jump in history, according to sales figures, with the median home price jumping from $234,000 to $284,00.
Statewide, average selling prices jumped 17 percent in the same April-to-April period. You can see the statewide breakdown, including figures for Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and other areas, in this pdf from the Ohio Realtors.
Soaring home prices and rents hurting buyers and renters
WCPO has been reporting all year on how hard it is to find a home to buy right now. Tiffany Moore of Butler County told us of her struggle to buy a house in this competitive environment.
"It already had several offers before we got our offer in," she said of losing one of her dream homes.
The market is now trickling down to rental homes and apartments.
We recently showed how renters like Barbara Hill Kelley in Mount Airy are being squeezed by rent hikes.
"That's another $1,200 dollars per year," she said.
Why prices are up so much
Ohio Realtors president Seth Task said the group has never seen such a jump in one year in selling prices before.
"Seventeen percent in one year is certainly an anomaly," he said.
The main reason for the price spike, he said, is supply and demand. So few homes are for sale right now, primarily due to fewer people listing homes or wanting to move during the pandemic.
"Everybody's inventory levels are at historic lows," Task said. "We have 30 percent of the inventory (of homes for sale) we are used to operating at."
The Realtors don't see things improving anytime soon, Task said. One reason is that many people are looking for their first home at the same time that there is a shortage of homes on the market. On top of that, very few new homes are being built due to high land and material costs and supply shortages.
In addition, he said, most new construction is higher-end, because builders cannot make money anymore building $200,000 homes.
Long-term, Task said, he hopes more empty-nesters start listing their homes now that the pandemic is easing, finally bringing more supply online.
Does he see things getting better next year?
"They sure have to," he said.
If you are hoping to buy, Task said, this is one more reason to have a buyer's agent help you. A licensed agent can tip you off to homes coming up days before they are officially listed.
That way, you don't waste your money.
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