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Riverfront charm in Cincinnati, college-town cheering in Columbus, a resurgent downtown in Cleveland and more: No matter where you turn in the Buckeye State, there are plenty of reasons to love calling it home. Whether you’re saving for a down payment to buy or thinking about selling, get to know the ins and outs of the Ohio housing market before you make any big real estate decisions.
Ohio housing market overview
As a whole, the Ohio housing market is trending upward. However, it’s important to understand that the market looks different in different parts of the state. March 2023 numbers from the Ohio Realtors show that average sale prices in Dayton increased by 6.5 percent year-over-year, for example, while in Cincinnati they increased only 1 percent. And in the Mansfield area, prices actually fell by 13 percent.
Ohio housing trends and stats
- The average sale price statewide in March 2023 was $253,826.
- That’s a 2.5 percent increase over last year, according to Ohio Realtors data, but still considerably below the nationwide median price of $388,800.
- 10,730 homes sold in March 2023 — 8.5 percent fewer than the March of last year.
- Data from Redfin shows that in April, the typical home spent 27 days on the market.
- Redfin’s numbers also show that homes typically sold for almost their exact listing price, with a sale-to-list price of 99.8 percent. At this time last year, homes were selling for just over list price, rather than just under.
- Closing costs in Ohio typically add up to around 2 percent of the purchase price, according to figures from CoreLogic’s ClosingCorp. On an average-priced $253,826 home, that comes to $5,076.
Should you buy or sell in the Ohio housing market?
Deciding whether you’re ready to buy or sell in Ohio involves a lot of questions about your finances and goals.
If you’re a home seller
If you’re selling in Ohio, you likely still have an advantage due to a shortage of available inventory. However, it’s important to recognize that buyers are feeling the sting of higher mortgage rates combined with higher prices. With that in mind, get a good sense of what your house is really worth by looking at recently sold properties in your area that are similar to yours. A real estate agent who knows your area well can offer advice on some key considerations, such as the best time to list (typically late spring and early summer) and how to increase your property value before entering the market.
If you’re a homebuyer
If you’re an Ohio homebuyer, a smart first step is getting preapproved for a mortgage. A preapproval letter will give you a firm idea of how much you can afford to spend. If you’ve never owned a home before, be sure to look into Ohio’s first-time homebuyer programs, too. The state offers a range of assistance options, including a grant program to help recent college graduates get between 2.5 percent and 5 percent of forgivable down payment assistance.
In addition to the money you will spend on housing, make sure you think about other essential expenses, like transportation, utilities and food. Living costs are relatively low in Ohio, but like every state, some cities are more expensive than others. For example, Bankrate’s cost of living calculator shows that Columbus is nearly 7 percent more affordable than Cincinnati.
Ohio housing market predictions
In the short-term, Ohio’s housing market looks healthy. No one expects a dramatic crash that sends home values spiraling downward, so you can likely feel confident in investing in a home here. Looking ahead to the rest of 2023, most experts predict that a leveling off of mortgage rates will make real estate easier for hopeful buyers to navigate.
That said, Ohio’s population is not growing robustly. Research from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, shows that the state’s population is projected to grow by less than 1 percent over the next 30 years, which may present some long-term market bumpiness.
Find an Ohio real estate agent
Ultimately, whether you’re buying or selling, you don’t really need to know the entire Ohio housing market — you just need to understand the market in your specific town. The best way to do that is to partner with an expert real estate agent who is super-familiar with the area. If you’re selling, a local agent will be able to help you craft the perfect pricing strategy. And if you’re buying, an agent can point you to the neighborhoods with homes that meet your needs and budget.
No. Statewide, prices actually increased 2.5 percent in March 2023 versus March 2022, according to data from Ohio Realtors. However, there are some places in the state where prices have fallen: The Firelands, Athens, Knox and Mansfield areas, for example, all posted year-over-year average price drops.
The road ahead looks good for the Ohio real estate market this year. While high mortgage rates will continue to weigh on buyers when it comes to affordability, sale prices remain more affordable than the national average. And the good news for sellers is that limited inventory still gives them the advantage. Redfin data shows that there is a two-month supply — well short of the five or six months that would bring a balanced market.