December 09, 2023
👋 Axios real estate reporters here with a special newsletter edition about the big trends that shaped Columbus' housing market this year.
Today's newsletter is 580 words — a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Brutal year for buyers
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.
- "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.
- America's housing shortage is particularly concerning for the wave of younger millennials and Gen Zers in the homebuying pipeline, Gardner said.
2. Our steepest home sale
This Georgian estate on a hill sold for $5 million in May, the most expensive Central Ohio sale of the year, according to Columbus Realtors data as of late November.
Zoom in: The five-bedroom, eight-bathroom home just west of Bexley sits on 3.6 lush acres overlooking Wolfe Park.
Highlights: A new kitchen and spa bathroom with eye-catching tile, a pool and five wood-burning fireplaces.
3. 🏃♀️ Catch me up
We rounded up some of our top stories this year on Columbus' housing market.
📦 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.
💰 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.
4. 💬 Quote du jour: A mogul's approach
"Nobody wants their mom to sell their real estate anymore, or their best friend. I mean, I just got a listing the other day on a $24 million house, and they said to me, 'Well, I gave it to my wife's best friend, because I thought the house was going to sell itself.' That day's gone … Now people want to deal with professionals."— Real estate mogul Mauricio Umansky at the November gathering of agents from his luxury brokerage, which has an office in Cleveland.
5. ☎️ Calling mortgage-free homeowners
We want to talk to homeowners who are mortgage-free, a growing cohort nationally.
- Whether you paid your mortgage off early or are taking your time, we want to hear why.
- If you own your home outright, what are you doing with that financial freedom?
📬 Reply to this email. We might feature your insights in an upcoming newsletter.
Our year in housing:
📦 Sami moved into her first studio apartment.
🍽 Bri's china collection grew considerably, thanks to generous wedding guests.
Thanks to our editor Ashley May and copy editor Bill Kole.