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I had a strong December with 3 new listings and 4 closings before the end of the year.

That’s why I was really surprised when I read the December housing report from the Columbus Realtors Association. With the exception of the average sales price, which increased in December, the numbers were horrible.

Here’s what I discovered and how you can benefit from the new housing market in 2019.

​December 2018 Housing Stats

In December we saw substantially fewer closings, fewer contracts, fewer listings and longer days on market, while the inventory remained at a record low. Here are the exact numbers for December 2018 (compared to the same month a year ago):

  • Closed Transactions – 2,052 – DOWN by 9.2%
  • Pending Contracts – 1,917 – DOWN by 5.8%
  • Inventory for Sale – 4,141 – UP by 6.8%
  • New Listings – 1,409 – DOWN by 5.6%
  • Days on Market – 41 – UP by 7.9%
  • Average Sales Price – $221,598 – UP by 3.2%

How 2018 Compares to Previous Years

The next few charts show key measures of the Central Ohio Housing Market on a monthly basis. The 2018 numbers are in red.

In December we recorded fewer closings than during the past 3 years.

All lines seem to converge in December, however, last year we had fewer Pending Contracts than in 2014.

The inventory is now slightly higher than a year ago. We are still at historic lows which limits the number of closed transactions.

New listings usually bottom out in December. While New Listings peaked in May 2018, they dropped to a 5-year record low at the end of last year.

The average sales price stayed well above the 2017 numbers. It even increased in December over November 2018.

This chart is the best indication of a changing market. During the summer months sellers received almost full list price for their homes. In December they had to discount by more than 5% to get their homes sold.

Recommendations for Sellers

You will get the best offers for your home between March and June. That’s the most competitive time of the year. I expect a mad rush on affordable properties, just like last year.

If you are considering selling, we need to talk now, and get your house ready by March.

I recommend you list your home at or slightly below its fair market value. This will attract more qualified buyers, possibly lead to a bidding war and above list price offers.

Recommendations for Buyers

Interest rates did not rise as predicted by many forecasters. You can still get a 30-year fixed rate loan for below 5%.

Let’s start your home search now. If you begin in mid-spring, like most other buyers, you will be rushed into making offers. There’s a chance you will overpay and end up in a bidding war.

You will face the least competition and find great opportunities with properties that have not been updated. They will require some work after you close, however, you can buy these properties at a discount and make upgrades that fit your taste.

​​Call or text me TODAY at (614) 975-9650. Now it’s more important than ever to have an expert, trusted adviser on your side!

Susanne Novak has been a Realtor since 2007. She is the broker and owner of RE/MAX 24/7 in the Dublin Historic District. Susanne typically helps 50-60 families each year with their real estate needs. She's your trusted advisor when you search for your dream home, and a skilled negotiator when she lists your property to get top dollar when you sell.

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