The End of the American Dream

The media seems to be thriving on publishing so much negative hype about the real estate market, that I thought I’d clarify by sharing a little about the Columbus Ohio Real estate market in particular.  But I’m wondering if my title “The End of The American Dream” scares you enough to want to read on?  Or does it paralyze you into thinking you should just sit still and not make a move until this storm blows over?  Perhaps that’s the phenomenon the media is feeding into?

While I know there are many areas in the United States that have much worse real estate markets than we do here in Columbus, I’m betting that overall it’s not nearly as bad as the media keeps publicizing.  I guess they think the American public would rather focus on all the negative like they do?  Don’t they think we can handle the truth?  Or maybe the media can’t handle the truth because it doesn’t sound as sensational or they think it won’t sell as much?  Since it seems like a “so called good story” is more important to the media than telling the truth, I have a hard time believing anything they say.  So it seems like the media needs to learn how to do a better job and figure out a way to provide good stories – while still telling the truth.  But I guess that’s a whole different story that I won’t focus on any further here.

The truth is real estate is local and all they really should be focused on is talking about the local real estate market as it pertains to specific areas instead of making it sound like their story applies to every market in the US.  Here in Columbus Ohio, real estate is selling and inventory levels continue to decline.

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® reported on June 26, 2008, that home sales in the Columbus Ohio area continue to increase each month and that presents a healthy picture of the Central Ohio housing market.  As a matter of fact, 2,064 homes sold in May which was a 15.7 percent increase over the number of sales in May 2008.  While there is still a large inventory of homes for sale in Columbus and Central Ohio, low interest rates and competitive pricing continue to fuel the Columbus Ohio real estate market.  Now maybe I’m crazy, but I think the fact that over 2,000 Central Ohio homes sold in May 2008 alone, sounds like good news?  So I’m doing my share to spread this good news.

As a matter of fact, I had a new real estate listing in Northwest Columbus, Upper Arlington area that went into contract in less than 30 days on the market at 97% of the list price.  I know first hand when homes are properly prepared and priced competitively they are still selling.  In this Columbus real estate market homes need to be in the best condition possible to sell quickly.

In May of 2008 there were 17,900 homes for sale in the Columbus Ohio area, which is a little over 5 percent fewer than May of 2007.  There were 4,703 homes added to the market in May which is 8 percent lower than the 5,118 homes listed in May of 2007.  The average list price of a home for sale in May was $173,826 which is 3.8 percent lower than the average list price of a home in May of 2007.  So the average sales price in May of 2008 was $168,345, almost 4 percent lower than May of 2007.  Year to date sales of new and existing homes sold January through May of 2008 total 8,367 which is 14.1 percent behind the 9,737 sales during the same time period in 2007, but only 3 percent behind the Columbus real estate market’s pre-boom period (prior to 2003).

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® just came out with June 2008 statistics which show the Central Ohio housing market is continuing to stabilize.  While there were slightly more homes on the market in June 2008 versus June 2007, so far this year there is a 9.2 percent decrease in total homes on the market.

According to Greg Hraback, President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, the first half of 2008 has seen increasing home sales and there were 8.6 percent more homes sold in June than in May.  Total new and existing homes sold through June of 2008 is 10,667, 14.3 percent behind June 2007’s total of 12,444, but less than six percent behind sales in the market’s pre boom period, during the first half of 2003.

I think the best news is that Central Ohio sales values increased in June 2008 over 7 percent compared to May for an average home sales price of $180,399.

I’ve included a chart provided by the Columbus Board of REALTORS® with the latest sales statistics comparing June 2008 to June 2007 and year to date real estate sales in Columbus and Central Ohio.  These sales stats include not only Columbus but all Central Ohio real estate sales for suburbs of Columbus: Bexley, Blacklick, Canal Winchester, Clintonville, Downtown Columbus, Dublin, Gahanna, German Village, Grandview Heights, Granville, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, Lewis Center, New Albany, Pataskala, Pickerington, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Short North and Victorian Village, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, Worthington as well as Franklin County many of the surrounding counties.

There are some areas in Central Ohio that are doing better than others and I’ve recently included a story showcasing how quickly homes in good condition seem to be selling in Clintonville, Bexley, German Village, Westerville and Worthington Ohio, just to name a few.  The areas that seem to have slower sales and have also been hardest hit with foreclosures are those with newer homes where predatory lending practices prevailed – but that’s a whole another story that I won’t get into here.

Since inventory levels are still plentiful, interest rates are still reasonable and there are great no money down loan programs for first time home buyers, now is still a great time to buy a home in Columbus and Central Ohio.  Who knows how long the no money down loan programs will still be around, so you should take advantage of this great opportunity while it’s here.

Overall I’d say if you’re not serious about selling, there’s no point in putting your home on the market right now.  If you are not willing to properly prepare and price your home for the current market, you’ll only end up frustrated when your home doesn’t sell.  As always, if you’d like an honest opinion about selling your home in Central Ohio, please don’t hesitate to call me at 614-895-0496, for expert advice.

As an experienced Columbus Ohio REALTOR® with over $45 million in real estate sales all over Central Ohio, I can help determine your home’s value in the current Columbus Ohio real estate market and make suggestions to improve your home’s condition making it more appealing to buyers.  Visit: columbuscastles.com/sellers to learn more about my services for selling your home in Columbus and Central Ohio.

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