The state’s capital, Columbus, Ohio, has seen effects on its housing market similar to those in other Midwestern cities. Though the market for real estate in Columbus was not hit as hard as areas on the coast, particularly in the West or the Gulf, residents have seen their home values decline, and many have been forced into foreclosure by the tough economic times. But lately the market shows signs for optimism.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, home sales in October were up by 25.6% from the same period in the previous year, with 2.021 sales, the highest number since October 2006, when the market was in full boom. Most of this increased activity in the Columbus real estate market can be attributed to buyers looking to take advantage of the government stimulus program offering tax rebates of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers, which has since been extended to a broader swatch of buyers.
The supply of homes for sale in Columbus has also fallen, down 30% from last year as the inventory is snatched up by buyers looking for a bargain. The market in late November stood with a 6.9-month supply of inventory, considered a balanced level, compared with 9.8 months in 2008. and
Prices, however, have yet to recover. The average sales price was $160,000, down from nearly $164,000 in 2008, a decrease of 2.3%. Year to date, the average sales price is down 2.6% from 2008′s figures, at $164,268 from $172,063. The average price remained virtually unchanged from September, however, showing the market is at least stabilizing in price.