Post-pandemic Columbus housing market

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Buying a home… It’s a tough market for anyone looking to buy right now.

The U.S. market saw a record 20.6% year-over-year rise in home prices between March 2021 and March 2022, but changes are afoot.

The market is beginning to balance out as mortgage rates rise. This creates a level playing field for buyers and sellers.

Some contributors to last year’s housing market storm: lack of inventory, low mortgage rates and millennials of home buying age.

“We had the lowest mortgage rates on record a year ago,” said Wayne Long with Team Long Real Estate. “It created a perfect storm of people trying to buy houses, and there weren’t enough houses.”

According to Fortune magazine, over the past six months, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen from around 3% to 5%. This is to slow the economy and even out the housing market, but the lack of homes available for sale is part of the problem that dates back to the 2008 recession.

“That made the builders be very careful in the construction,” Long explained. “Historically from 2008 to 2020, there have been very few houses built. That’s really the same number of houses built during the Great Depression.

The pandemic property boom is now seeing inventories, the number of unsold listings, fall to critical levels. Long said Columbus market listings are up 30% in the past month alone, but homebuyers shouldn’t get too excited — just yet.

Inventory is still well below pre-pandemic levels, with around 300 unsold homes listed compared to the pre-pandemic period: more than 2,500 on the market at a time.

“People come from all over the country here too,” Jason Long said. “You see that especially with California and New York, coming from the North to the South. They think our homes are cheap enough to pay cash right away and offer more than they ask for. We had to figure out how to compete with those guys.

Some tools agents use to help prospective owners secure their property include negotiation skills against out-of-state people and moving money into accounts to make buyers appear more desirable.

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