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Ohio_housingRegional Spotlight—Central Ohio home sales are on track to be the second highest year ever, despite the decrease in inventory according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing System (MLS).

So far, there have been 23,292 homes and condos sold this year between January 1 and October 31. The current record for the first ten months of the year is 23,540 back in 2005. The 2,032 homes and condos sold in October fell 2.1 percent from the previous year (2,075).

“Sales dipped last month, not because we don’t have the demand, but because we don’t have the inventory,” says Chris Pedon, 2013 president of Columbus REALTORS®. “We’ve been publishing the lack of inventory for the last several months. We have buyers. But we need more houses and condos to show them.”

The number of residential homes on the market has dropped to just under 10,300, 1.4 percent less than a year ago and the lowest level of inventory at this time of year since 2002. Inventory has averaged almost 14,900 for the last five years, but has been dropping steadily over the last couple years.

As a result, home prices are rising. The average price of a home sold in central Ohio last month was $171,355, up 5.5 percent in the last year. Year to date prices (January through October) are averaging $174,589, 3.8 percent above the same period in 2012.

According to the latest Housing Market Confidence Index (by the Ohio Association of REALTORS®), 89 percent of central Ohio REALTORS® describe the current housing market as moderate to strong, but 95 percent expect the housing market to be moderate to strong over the next six months. As for home prices, 79 percent expect home prices to rise over the next year.

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