For the past few months I predicted that we will have a great summer. I am not talking about the weather, but the Columbus real estate market.

The official Columbus home sales stats for the month of August are out. And they are exciting!

Home prices are up by 1% and the number of home sales increased by 15.4%. The inventory of homes for sale is lower and pending contracts are up by 50% from a year ago.

Sounds like the Columbus housing market is booming! For 2 months in a row Columbus home sales beat last year’s numbers by a significant margin.

Columbus Housing Market

Let me explain why this is the case and why you don’t have to be a psychic to predict home sales. As a matter of fact, it’s as simple as reading this chart.

Columbus Home Sales are Up in August 2011

This chart compares the number of homes sold each month since the beginning of 2009. You can clearly see how the first time home buyer tax credit distorted sales for approximately 10 months from September 2009 to June 2010.

But its major impact was felt when the tax credit expired in June 2010. Anyone who had planned to buy a house in 2010 did so in the first half of the year. Starting in July the bottom fell out of home sales and pending contracts, which resulted in a dismal second half of 2010.

Back to a Balance

This year is balanced. The government is not trying to “stimulate” home sales and the banks are as conservative as ever. We are in a normal real estate sales cycle, which should continue till the end of this year.

Home sales will continue to be above 2010 until the end of this year. Overall, I believe we will beat the total number of 2010 sales, and home values will increase slightly.

How Did Local Communities Fare?

Suburbs and school districts fared quite differently. While a few suburbs enjoyed a true boom, others experienced a serious downturn, both in the number of sale and the values of homes sold.

Here’s the complete Local Market Update for August 2011 (PDF file).

Would you like to follow the sales prices in different suburbs?

The average sales price in Central Ohio was $171,027 (1% higher than a year ago), but homes in some suburbs are more expensive.

While the average sales price hit $439,367 in Bexley, $317,305 in German Village, $376,411 in Dublin (all of them up significantly from last year), Obetz ($64,100), Groveport ($67,176) and Blacklick ($155,477) lost more than 25% of their value.

How Did Your Community Fare?

Click here for a link to a sortable database of sales stats in Central Ohio. Click on any of the header tags to sort the table. It compares Closed Sales, In Contract, Average Sales Price, Median Sales Price, New Listings, and how each of them changed as compared to a year ago.