The Midwest Market Demand Is Higher Than Supply


In 2018, the Midwest saw rapid home buying, making it the hottest region in the US. Fort Wayne, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan all surpassed California in property cost increases and the amount of time it took to sell a home! identified the 20 hottest markets through listing views and median days on the market. These properties sold 17 to 30 days more quickly than homes in the rest of the country. These markets also spent four days fewer on the market on average than the year prior. Listing views were 1.8 times higher than the national average and 16 percent higher than 2017, said.

Columbus, OH especially is seeing rapid growth. The average home price in the Columbus metropolitan area rose 9% from 2017 to 2018. Winning offers are also coming in at half the amount of time compared to the year prior. Columbus is the only large northern city to grow more than 10% from 2010 to 2017. Year-over-year growth is causing excitement as well as skepticism in the region. Some skeptics question whether the market has the supply to meet demand and that the boom won’t last for long. Many home builders in Columbus, Ohio are even struggling to keep up with demand by supplying new construction.

What partially explains the rapid sale of homes is that the number of homes on the market is nearly 22% lower than 2017 in Central Ohio. The average home sale in Columbus closes just shy of 2 months, which suggests there are more buyers on the market than homes available. According to US Banks, Ohio mortgage loans are up from $171,000 to $232,000.

Cincinnati is having a similar experience. In Summer of 2018, the average home was on the market for just 29 days. Donna Deaton, the managing vice president with RE/MAX Victory in Cincinnati, spoke with Forbes about the lack of inventory to meet demand in the city. She said, “Our market is intense–as soon as a desirable property hits the market, there are multiple offers over asking price. We advise all buyers to be prepared–get pre-approved, make a clean offer and offer favorable concessions to make your offer stand out.”

Idaho and Indiana are also seeing remarkable growth. Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Boise, Idaho, ranked as the second and third hottest markets in the U.S. in July, respectively, according to Realtor. The median listing price in Boise has soared 17% past the national average at nearly $340,000. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that there are 10 times more buyers looking for a home in Boise than available homes for sale. This showcases not just the strength of the market but also the other side of the coin – lack of affordable housing. As demand soars, so do prices, resulting in potential buyers being knocked out of the market.

Detroit is also seeing a turnaround. This month, Detroit Land Bank Authority reported that new mortgages surpassed 1,000, which hasn’t been seen since before the 2008 housing crisis. The prices of homes are also increasing in Motor City, with data showing the average home sale jumping from around $33,000 in 2014 to more than $74,000 in 2018!

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