Dec 9, 2023 - Real Estate

Where Columbus' housing market stands heading into 2024

Data: Redfin; Chart: Alice Feng and Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals
Data: Redfin; Chart: Alice Feng and Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Becoming a homeowner in 2023 was "more challenging than ever," according to Columbus Realtors president Patti Brown-Wright.

Why it matters: A year that saw record-low housing affordability is drawing to an end.

Zoom in: Columbus is still a sought-after market, Brown-Wright says, pointing to some of the high-profile projects slated for the area including Intel's Ohio One mega chip factory.

  • Gahanna was recently named the Hottest Zip Code of 2023 by Realtor.com.
  • Pickerington was dubbed one of the nation's top suburbs for first-time home buyers.

The big picture: U.S. home sales have cratered as many owners clamp down on their lower mortgage rates.

  • "If there's nothing out there for me to buy, why would I sell? We are all kind of stuck in that paradigm right now," chief economist Matthew Gardner at Windermere Real Estate said at a November conference.

Between the lines: The number of Central Ohio listings available to buy dropped from around 10,000 to roughly 6,900 between October 2019 and October 2023, per the latest Redfin data.

What we're watching: Mortgage rates would need to slide significantly to loosen homeowners' golden handcuffs and boost listing activity, real estate experts say.

More housing stories on Axios:

📦 Clevelanders want to move here. Over half of page views for Columbus-area home listings this year came from Cleveland, per first-quarter data Zillow shared with Axios.

🙅‍♀️ Ohio homeowners won't let go of their lower mortgage rates, keeping houses off the market.

🔥 About that tight market: While more than half of Columbus' millennials are already homeowners, those who haven't bought yet face higher borrowing costs and home prices.

💰 The annual income needed to buy a typical Columbus-area home has surged to just over $90,000, according to Redfin.

🏗 Columbus' luxury apartment boom includes eye-popping amenities aimed at a growing cohort of high-rolling renters.

Go deeper: One development is bringing co-living to the area.

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