Central Ohio home sales jump in May


Driven by job growth and low interest rates, central Ohio home sales jumped more than 5% in May, the biggest leap in two and a half years.

During the month, 3,226 Columbus-area homes changed hands, 5.6% more than a year earlier, the Columbus Realtors trade group said Friday. It was the largest year-over-year increase since November 2016.

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Sales rose despite the continued escalation of prices. The median sales price of a Columbus-area home rose 7.8% from a year ago to $220,000 in May.

Prices were offset, however, by exceptionally low interest rates. The average 30-year mortgage rate is 3.84% this week, down from 4.57% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac.

“Although increased home prices might seem like a deterrent, the drop in mortgage interest rates over the past three months means that housing affordability is the best it’s been in a year,” said Columbus Realtors President John Myers in a news release.

Home sales also rose statewide and nationally.

After two months of declines, U.S. home sales rose 2.5% from April to a seasonally adjusted level of 5.34 million homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales nonetheless remain 1.1% below a year ago.

Nationally, prices climbed 4.8% from a year ago to a median price of $277,600.

Statewide, 15,567 homes changed hands across Ohio in May, 3.5% more than a year ago, according to the Ohio Realtors. The average price of an Ohio home rose 7.1% to $200,777.

“Activity levels in May were solid across the Ohio marketplace, with would-be buyers moving off of the sideline and into a home,” said Ohio Realtors President Anjanette Frye. “Coupled with the steady rise in the pace of sales, the market is also seeing the average sales price trend upward.”


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