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The average amount of time that homes in central Ohio spent on the market was just 23 days.  That’s just a little over three weeks.

Economists analyzing the Ohio real estate market report that homes are selling quickly and claiming one of the top 20 spots for markets to watch out for!

Here’s how Ohio real estate market trends have made it such an active real estate hot spot and why.

1. The Shift in Regional Real Estate Markets

Ohio state’s capital, Columbus, was the number one top-performing real estate market in 2019, according to the Realtor.com and the National Association of Realtors. Other large cities in Ohio such as Cleveland and Cincinnati also performed well and improved market activity from the last year.

However, this was not the case two years ago in 2018.  Larger cities, especially in Western market areas like California, had dominated real estate activity reports.

In 2019, the number of homes for sale declined in major Western cities such as San Jose, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

Within a year, these markets have experienced a slowdown, creating more opportunity and exposure for Midwestern markets. For instance, Fort Wayne, Indiana received decent attention because of its selection of starter homes.

The Fort Wayne area also attracts buyers from other Midwestern areas. Markets in Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis tend to contribute to that area.

This is a significant feat since the Midwest historically experiences less real estate demand than other areas in the country.

2. Affordability Is the Key to Ohio Real Estate

Affordability is also a large influence on the market, and the Midwest has proved comparatively cheaper than other areas.

Besides house prices, mortgage rates had declined in 2019 although they had oppositely spiked in 2018.

The chief economist at Realtor.com states that affordability is the reason so many younger buyers are considering houses in the Midwest. Due to the increased house prices in the rest of the country, the cheaper markets in places like Ohio stand out.

For instance, Columbus had a median price of $249,900 in 2019.  Compared to the national median of $300,000, Columbus is a highly attractive market. Other real estate hot spots in Ohio include Canton and Akron.

Because Ohio and many parts of the Midwest have become hot spots, its imperative for buyers to be prompt when they find opportunities.

3. Seasons to Buy and Sell

As a general trend, spring is usually the most popular time to buy a house.  There’s a variety of reasons why but one of the biggest reasons is convenience.

The start of the school year in the fall is a significant landmark in the timeline of the buying and selling season.

This means that buyers and sellers with families aim to move in or out during the spring, and settle in before the start of the school year in the fall.  They have to consider housing location in the context of distance from school and work.

While the school year is typically an important factor for buyers or sellers with families, it influences the entire housing market.  The increased activity during the spring raises the overall market supply and the demand, which can also sway prices.

Besides convenience, the spring is the best time to inspect any residual damage from winter conditions.  Structural trauma from ice and water in the basement or on the roof are features to look out for.

In summer, buyers and sellers continue to plan for the moving process before the start of the school year in fall.

During the fall, buying and selling activity generally decreases due to the business of the starting school year.

And by winter, the markets slow down significantly compared to other months. This is usually due to cold weather, which can sometimes complicate the buying and selling process.

Across the nation, May 1-15 has proven to be the best time to sell. In 2019, selling withing this May sweet spot resulted in a $1,500 average increase in the final sale.

If you’d rather make your move in the summer, you could benefit buying as late as July 15th, depending on your area.

When you’re looking for a home, the best method is to identify areas that show a positive long-term economic outlook.  These areas are often resilient to slowdowns.

4. The Impact of COVID-19

Speaking of slowdowns, the COVID-19 crisis has considerably impacted housing markets across the country.

In Midwestern cities, the new listings dropped by an average of 49.5 percent.  This is significant, though not as dire as the 59.4 percent in Northeastern city listings. Despite this, 44% of sellers are still looking to sell but at a later date.

The COVID-19 crisis intensified largely in the spring, which is typically the time with the most buying and selling activity. This means that the traditional open season for buying and selling may be postponed to later times in the year.

Naturally, there will always be a demand for houses, even if it’s not a strong demand.

What Ohio Real Estate Buyers and Sellers Can Do in These Times

Slowdowns have occurred across the nation, not just in Ohio real estate. However, These dormant periods may allow buyers and sellers to prepare their homes for the market’s reopening.

Depending on your area’s health and safety restrictions, you may be limited in what you can do.  Still, there may be steps you can take to prime your home for the next selling and buying season.

One thing you can look into is scheduling a private home inspection. During the inspection, remember to observe all COVID-related safety restrictions.

Despite the market slowdown, getting your home inspected during this period can help you move your plans along for the next market opportunity.

When you get an inspection, you can arrange for repairs and calculate what needs fixing before you make any transactions.

For sellers, an inspection can give you an extra layer of transparency which builds more trust between you and the buyer.

For buyers, you can get a better understanding of what needs fixing before you decide on a house or make any significant decisions.

To get more information, call us or schedule an inspection and we’ll help you prepare your home for the market.