Licking and Franklin County Real Estate And Community News

May 21, 2024

Market Update May 2024

This summer is going to be hot, and I’m not just talking about the weather. The real estate market is heating up too! We had over 3,300 new listings hit the market in all of April. That seems like a lot until you compare it to May.

There were 1100 properties listed in this week alone (5/14-5/21), and with 61 more properties set to “Coming Soon” status in the last 24-hours, it suggests at least another 500 properties could come available by this week’s end.

Here are a few things I find interesting as I’m looking at the stats from the last 3 months.

The terms are defined below.

1.      In April 2023, the median list price was $34,000 higher than the median sale price. In April 2024, the gap widened to $50,000.

2.      The median active price from December 2023 to April 2024 was:

a.      December - $340,000

b.      January - $345,000

c.      February - $350,000

d.      March - $360,000

e.      April - $368,000

3.      The new median list prices and sold prices have gone up too from January to April (list/sold):

a.      December - $290k/$298k

b.      January - $300k/$289k

c.      February - $305k/$300k

d.      March - $320k/$310k

e.      April - $340k/$318k

4.      The Sold to List price ratios between January and April have been going up. In January, houses were selling for 96% of their list price. In April, it’s 99%.

5.      The average days on market peaked in February this year at 38 days and dropped to 29 days in April.

So what does all this mean? In a nutshell, it means that interest rates are driving the market. The current interest rates are at 7.01% to 7.575% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Over the last few months, we was higher priced houses stay on the market longer and selling for less. However, with the summer coming, so is the selling season. Homes are beginning to sell closer to their list price and in the coming months, we’ll see 100% return, and perhaps even the 101% of list we saw last summer.

Do you remember when we said in December that “now” was the time to buy? Well, now is the time to sell. It is being predicted that interest rates will come down further as we get deep into the summer months and autumn. While they have begun their decline, with the election around the corner, we expect to see a steeper decline. Just how much they’ll come down remains to be seen. Nonetheless, people still need to move, and houses still need to sell.


 ·         Median - the middle price where half of the total is higher, and half is lower.  


·         The Active Median List Price defines the list price that is being carried over from the last month, or the median price that didn’t sell last month.

·         The New Median List Price - the price houses were being listed for that month.

·         The Sold Median Price - what all houses sold for in that month.

Posted in Market Updates
May 6, 2024

What the NAR Lawsuit Means to Consumers

There has been a lot of talk by the news media, politicians, and even President Biden about the now settled lawsuit against the NAR (National Association of Realtors). Much of the talk about how agent commissions are decided has been incorrect. Agent commissions have always been negotiated and paid by the seller. This cooperative compensation structure gave buyers more flexibility in their purchasing power.  The commission was then recorded on the MLS for buyer agents to see when searching for homes for their clients.

This lawsuit makes two big changes to the commission structure. As stated by the NAR:

  1. NAR agreed to create a new MLS rule prohibiting offers of compensation on the MLS. This would mean that offers of compensation could not be communicated via the MLS, but they could continue to be an option consumers could pursue off the MLS through negotiation and consultation with real estate professionals.
  2. NAR also agreed to create a new rule requiring MLS participants working with buyers to enter into written agreements with their buyers before the buyer tours a home. NAR has long encouraged its members to use written agreements to help consumers understand exactly what services and value they provide, and for how much.

Under this new structure, the commissions will not be recorded on the MLS meaning they’ll need to contact the listing agent to get the information. This could become an issue depending on how well the agents communicate. The most pressing issue with this lawsuit revolves around buyer’s ability to purchase a suitable home. This may get a bit detailed, so stick with me.

Under the cooperative compensation structure, it has been a foregone conclusion that the seller would pay all the commission, thus leaving the buyer without a need to think about it. If the buyer bought a $300,000 house and wanted to put 3% down, they would need $9,000 in addition to closing costs. Because of this lawsuit, the buyer will be required to sign an exclusive buyer representation agreement with their agent. In that agreement, the buyer will need to negotiate the commission with their agent in case the seller isn’t paying. So, instead of needing just the $9,000 downpayment, the buyers also will need to commit to a commission amount. Regardless of the negotiated commission amount, the buyer will need to have that much more over their downpayment and closing costs available which could reduce their purchasing power.

The alternative to this is, of course, not hiring a buyer’s agent. It has never been advised to go into a legal transaction without representation, even less so under this new rule. Most buyers have erroneously believed the seller would lower their price if they didn’t need to pay the buyer’s agent. The truth is that the listing agent either lowers the total commission compensation or keeps the entire amount and buyer still pays full price. Under this new rule, however, if the seller isn’t paying the commission, an agent may be able to negotiate a lower price so that the buyer can afford the extra expense.

The new rules are set to go into effect in mid-July. At first, very little will change. Smart listing agents will explain to their sellers the negatives to not offering cooperative compensation, and savvy buyer’s agents will offer alternatives and additional options to their buyers. I do, however, look for these new rules to become more of a problem next year due, in part, to inflation and other reasons yet undefined.

April 18, 2024

What’s in a Fact?

The March 2024 average home sales price in Ohio was $275,500 for 10,700 homes sold. The average price in Columbus is currently $243,838. If you got my market update from last month, you may be wondering at the roughly $125,000 price discrepancy where the average price in Columbus was $374,000 and that prices were going up. Now, it appears they’re going down. Was I wrong, or was the data wrong? The fact is, it depends on where you look and who you ask. It’s the same with interest rates.


The internet is rife with information, some of it is relevant and some is not. Let’s look at housing prices. The average price of $243,838 in Columbus is sourced from the Ohio Realtor’s website. However, if you look at this week’s Columbus Realtor’s newsletter, it says the median price for Central Ohio in March was $310,000. Redfin says Columbus prices averaged $267,500 in March, Rocket Homes says $278,846, Google indicates it’s $299,300 for Central Ohio, and then the info provided in our last market update stated $374,000. So, why are they all different?

Without going into the long story side of it, though I will if you ask me to, the key to these prices is in the description. Is the average for every home sold in Columbus or Central Ohio, and is it for the entire month of March or something more specific? In the case of our email, the data was specific to a certain home type in Columbus and its suburbs. And was based on the average sales price, not the list price. That’s why it’s so high. When a site says “Columbus” it typically means, the city and suburbs. The location, “Central Ohio” is more arbitrary. That description can include or exclude locations to either meet an expectation or the narrative the article is trying to tell.

It's similar with the interest rates. Depending on which website you look at or which lender you talk to, the interest rates can swing more or less by a quarter (.25) to several percentage points either way. The way I understand it is, and I’m not an expert on loans, the rate set by the Federal Reserve is an arbitrary suggestion they base on inflation and governmental prompting. The lending institutions can set their rates base on the Federal suggestion or not - kind of like an MSRP. The rate is adjusted periodically, with no set timeframe, and then lending institutions decide which rate best fits their needs, based loosely, of course, on the Federal suggestion. If a bank has too many home loans out this month, then they may set their mortgage rate on the high side. Likewise, if a credit union wants more loans, it can set its rate lower than suggested. Like the term, “Central Ohio,” the lenders mortgage rate is arbitrarily based on factors it controls.

So, what should we do to get the best information? If you want to know the median sales price for a location you want to buy in, skip the generalizations of, “Columbus,” or “Central Ohio,” and search the specific locations using a site like Zillow or For mortgage rates, Nerd Wallet offers the ability to compare the rates of several national institutions. You can also compare the ‘Rent vs. Buy’ option to find out which is more equitable for your budget. If you prefer loan officers you can see, we have several lenders we’ve worked with in the past that can help you with a loan or even credit repair if its needed. If you want to sell a home, check out the Home Valution page on our website. And of course, since I’m biased on this, you can always reach out to me, I’ll be glad to help you anyway I can.

April 23, 2018

Investing in Colummercial Real Estate Made Easy

Investing in Commercial Real Estate made Easy

More and more people are today choosing real estate as a mode of investment. There are many different ways of earning profits from real estate. While fixing and flipping and buying rental income properties are popular among some investors, it is investment in commercial real estate that is gaining popularity among majority of investors. CRE investment is different from residential real estate investment in the sense that there are dozens of accommodation or commercial units in a single complex in this investment strategy.


You can hope to earn income in two different ways if you are planning to invest in CRE. You can lease out the property at a price that covers the cost of ownership and also generates monthly income in the form of rent. You also earn profit when you finally decide to sell your property as prices appreciate considerably in a short time period. Commercial real estate has produced rich dividends for the investors if they know how to manage such a property.


If you have invested in an apartment complex, you will have individuals and families as your tenants. On the other hand, businesses lease spaces in commercial property. They pay large amounts as security despots and then they also pay monthly rents. Terms and conditions as well as duration of such leases are different and so are the deposits and rants. Regardless of the type of property you are planning to invest in, it is important for you to do your homework in advance so that your objectives of cash flow and rental income are met.


Returns from commercial real estate investment also include gains from appreciation of property prices. Though prices of commercial properties mostly increase, they may lose value in some cases. Depreciation takes place only when there is an economic downturn in the region or the housing market. If market conditions are good, appreciation depends upon how well the property has been maintained and managed. If you can add value to your commercial property by undertaking periodic renovations, you can increase the rate of appreciation and reap the rewards when you finally resell the property. However, value-add approach may not produce sufficient cash flow for you as you reinvest the income to carry out repairs and renovations. But you are rewarded well when you finally decide to sell your commercial property.


Rate of returns in commercial real estate investment strategy are highly dependent upon demand and supply. If commercial property, which includes retail shops and offices, is scarce, you can expect high return on investment.  However, if the location in Columbus where there are open spaces and commercial property comes up after your purchase, you may suffer from low vacancy rates resulting in decreased income. In locations where tenants have limited choices to move out, your commercial real estate investment may turn out to be like gold.


In the end, it would be correct to say that investment in commercial real estate can be very profitable if you do your research before buying a property.



Posted in Real Estate News
April 2, 2018

Nashville Firm Enters Columbus with a Huge Purchase

Nashville Firm Enters Columbus with a Huge Purchase

Commercial real estate market in Columbus has received a massive boost recently. Priam Capital, a real estate firm from Nashville, has made its entry in Columbus in a big way. This Nashville firm has purchased two huge commercial complexes situated on Goodale Boulevard. The company has made an investment of nearly $12.7 million for the purchase of these properties situated on 1400 and 1404 Goodale Boulevard in a neighborhood called Grandview Heights.

According to reports from insiders, both commercial properties have a combined space of more than 80000 sq foot. Both contain offices and retail shops. Priam Capital has started to market these properties by describing the available offices as workplaces in a prime location with special features like open spaces,, natural sunlight, and open layouts.

For those who do not know this Nashville firm, the company has a portfolio of more than 900000 sq feet mainly comprised of multi tenant commercial complexes. Priam Capital was established in 2010 but it has carved a niche for itself in the commercial real estate market as an aggressive developer. The company acquired several properties in many other states before coming to Ohio. Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee are th states in which Priam Capital has already purchased properties. These two buildings on Goodale Boulevard are the fits purchases of the company in Ohio. This information is shared by the company on its website.

Interesting fact about this purchase is that the two buildings are already 100% occupied. This means the sale of these commercial properties was not a result of poor rate of returns. It seems Priam Capital made an offer that was deemed irresistible by the owners of these properties. Many of the tenants inside these properties are those who are well known names in Columbus. These include Zaner Bloser, Greenberg Farrow Architects, King Business Interiors, and Navigator Management Partners. The present status of these properties can be termed as an impressive turnaround from a situation when they were nearly empty in 2016.  The warehouse at 1400 Goodale Boulevard presented a deserted look at the time when Manley Dias & Kochalski decided to vacate the premises in April last year.

Abhishek Mathur, who is a partner and one of the founders of Priam Capital, said that this locality and the buildings with their distinct contemporary looks were on the radar of the company for quite some time. He added that the plans to acquire these properties were finalized soon after the company learnt about their 100% occupancy rate. This feat was achieved by the buildings recently and it did not go unnoticed by Priam which was ready to add them to its portfolio.


It is interesting to note here that the owner of the properties, CapRocq, had purchased them only in 2016. It paid $1.4 million for 1404 and $5.7 million for 1400. It can be seen that they made a solid profit of more than $5 million with this transaction. CapRocq is not leaving the locality altogether as it still owns a property at 855 Grandview Avenue.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 21, 2018

Real Estate Market in Central Ohio

Real Estate Market in Central Ohio Touching the Roof

If you have anything to do with real estate, it must be clear to you that Central Ohio housing market is red hot at the moment. You may have also read reports about sky high prices of homes in Columbus and wondered what’s going on there. The fact of the matter is that demand for homes in this region is far ahead of supply. Buyers are not getting new homes and they are lapping up whatever is coming on the market. In fact, homes are sold in no time at all after being listed on the market.


Prices of houses in highly desirable neighborhoods of Columbus have appreciated by more than 50% in the last 5 years. It is hard to believe that houses in Clintonville, Bexley, Upper Arlington, and Grandview have become so expensive in a short period of time. However, it would be wrong to assume that housing market is hot only in these posh localities of Columbus. Demand for affordable homes is pushing prices of houses even in middle class neighborhoods like Whitehall, Franklin Park and Olde Towne East.


There are some experts who feel that the housing market of Columbus is a victim of the fast economic growth of the metro city. Job scene is great and income levels are rising. People have a desire to move to Columbus because of low unemployment rate and access to all modern amenities. The rate of influx of migrants is higher than the rate at which houses are being built. This has pushed the demand for housing up and the prices of homes have consequently gone up.


Last year, 18600 new jobs were created in Columbus MSA. However, only 8249 new homes were built in the same period. These included not just entry level 1 bedroom apartments but also the luxurious $2 million villas. According to experts, housing market of a place is said to be in a state of balance if 1.25 to 1.5 jobs are created for every new residential unit added to the housing market. But in 2016, nearly 2.25 jobs were related for every new household in Columbus. As such, Columbus MSA qualifies to be called an underserved housing market.


Increasing the misery of the buyers is the fact that very few of the existing homes are coming to the market. Only 4286 houses were on the market in February 2017. This is more than 21% less than the number of houses on the market in February 2016. The result of low inventory and increased demand is skyrocketing prices of homes in the area. Realtors say that this unusually high demand has created a situation where homeowners are getting multiple offers in less than 24 hours of putting their homes on the market. His has given birth to a feeling of frustration among the buyers as they are unable to buy homes despite getting involved in a bidding war with other buyers.


According to experts, nearly half a million new homes are needed in Columbus in the next decade or so to bring semblance of stability in the housing market.





Posted in Real Estate News
March 13, 2018

Tips to Maintain High Credit Score For Getting Best Mortgage Rate

Tips to Maintain High Credit Score for getting Best Mortgage Rate

If you think time has come for you to buy a home for your family, one thing that you need to look is your credit score. There is no need to start your house hunting exercise before you have obtained a pre qualification letter from a lender. Interest rates are still low but to get the best mortgage, you will need to observe sound fiscal discipline so that your credit score is high.


1.      Make it a habit to pay your bills on time

You have to inculcate the good habit of paying all your bills, whether they are utility bills or for purchases made using credit cards, on time. You may not think much of slight delays in payment of bills but the single most important factor affecting your credit score is your history of bill payment. In fat, 35% of your credit score is dependent upon your payment history.


2.      Keep balances to a minimum in your credit cards

Most people have high running balances in their credit cards. They keep paying interest on this balance not realizing that it affects their credit score badly. One factor that has great bearing on your credit score is the ratio of available credit limit and used credit on credit cards. You can expect the score to be lower if you are using up your credit limit while the score is high if you use very little of the available credit limit.


3.      Keep the number of credit cards down to 2 or 3

Many people feel good that they own 5-6 credit cards but the practice of owning high number of credit cards is looked down upon by credit rating agencies. They feel that such individuals are not able to exercise control over their spending habits. It is better to have only 1-2 cards rather than owning 5-6 cards. Also, use these cards sparingly only when there is an emergency rather than on buying foods that you hardly need.


4.      A mix of loans is good

Having all loans obtained using your credit cards is not considered a good fiscal policy by credit rating agencies. Make sure that your loan portfolio is a diverse one including different kinds of loans with a good track record of paying your installments on time. You are building god credit when you are repaying your installment loans and student loans on time.


5.      Do not apply for loans from several lenders in short time period

It is natural for you to apply for mortgage loan in different banks when you have decided to get a mortgage loan. However, it is better to use services of a mortgage broker rather than recklessly applying for loans in many banks as it gives credit rating agencies a reason to believe that you are desperate for a loan. Apply for a fresh loan only when you have brought down the amount of outstanding loans and all of these loans are up to date.


Posted in Real Estate News
March 6, 2018

Millennials reshaping the Commercial Real Estate Market

Millennials are reshaping the

Commercial Real Estate Market


Millennials are the individuals born between 1984 and 2004.  Today, Millennial's make up nearly a third of the population of the country. It is the largest demographic having its impact felt in all sectors of the economy. And commercial real estate is no different. Tech markets across the country including the Silicon Valley and the smaller hubs like in Madison and Charlotte are almost entirely driven by this generation.  Millennial's happen to be the only generation that has had access to the facility of internet all its life.

According to an estimate, Millennials will comprise nearly 50% of the global workforce by 2020 and a whopping 75% by 2025.  It is no surprise then that the preferences and requirements of these men and women are shaping the contours of commercial real estate across the country.  If you are into commercial real estate, it pays to listen to the demands of these young men and women to be able to attract them in the years to come.  Here are 4 of the most priorities of the Millennials when it comes to approval of commercial real estate.

Layout and design at the workplace

With Millennials set to take over the workforce, the days of private offices seem to be numbered.  Millennials prefer open work space so as to encourage free communication and collaboration.  No more meeting rooms and private offices for these men and women.  This trend is fast catching up with the commercial complexes and these buildings can now be seen offering more open work spaces.  Another change quite visible is the increased use of glass in workplaces to allow more of sunlight.

A shift to major urban centers

Millennials are know for the preference towards urban centers where they have quick and easy access to all modern amenities. It is a clear signal to you that you should stay away from buying rental properties in locations that prove to be inconvenient for the Millennials in reaching to their workplace or shopping an dining facilities.  The property would be within walking distance or at least situated within minutes drive from workplace and other important amenities.

They need to be connected all the time

Connectivity is the most important feature in deciding between two comparable properties for Millennials.  Make sure that your building offers 24/7 connectivity to buyers and tenants.  Most companies look for uninterrupted internet before relocating their offices in any commercial complex.

Be there online to grab their attention

Be tech savvy and have presence on most of the social media channels.  If you are targeting Millennials as your customers, expect them to reach you through unconventional means such as instant messaging or email rather than giving you a call and setting an appointment.  Get a beautiful and highly interactive website to make sure that you are able to create a good impression on the minds of these tech savvy individuals.  Millennials love images and interactive videos.  Having an app is a great way to remain connected with Millennials all the time.

Posted in Real Estate News