UPDATE: Housing market in Columbus post-pandemic

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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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 jump in home prices between March 2021 and March 2022, but changes are on the way.

The market is starting to balance with mortgage rates on the rise. This creates an even playing field for buyers and sellers.

Some contributors to the housing market storm this past year: lack of inventory, low mortgage rates and millennials at the age to buy homes.

“We had the lowest mortgage rates ever a year ago,” Wayne Long wit Team Long Real Estate said. “It created the 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 spiked from roughly 3% to 5%. This, to slow the economy and even out the housing market, But the lack of available houses for sale is part of the problem that dates back to the 2008 recession.

“That caused builders to be very cautious in building,” Long explained. “Historically from 2008 to 2020, there were very few houses built. It’s really the same number of houses built in the Great Depression.”

The pandemic’s housing boom now seeing inventory, the number of unsold listings, falling to critical lows. Long said listings in the Columbus Market increased 30% in the past month alone, but homebuyers shouldn’t get too excited—yet.

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

“People are coming from all over the country to here as well,” Jason Long said. “You’re seeing that particularly with California and New York, coming from up North to down South. They’re thinking our houses are inexpensive enough to pay cash immediately, and offer over asking. We have had to figure out how to compete with those guys.”

Some tools agents are using to help future homeowners secure property include negotiating abilities against people out of state and moving money in accounts to allow buyers to appear more desirable.

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