Columbus Georgia Homes For Sale: Will The Market Fall After COVID?



The Columbus housing market is heavily favored by sellers in mid-2021, and this trend may not stop until the end of the year.

Homes in the Columbus area are growing rapidly and buyers are paying more, according to Chris Giles, a Columbus-based Re / Max Champions Realty broker and former president of the Georgia Association of REALTORS. Most of the offers are sold in about 40 days, he said. The closure process takes about 30 days to complete, leaving about 10-14 days for sale.

“In the last six months we have entered a market that can best be described as a strong seller market,” Giles told the Ledger-Enquirer. “We only see a lot of offers for homes if they are on the market for a few days. Prices have increased. People overpay the asking price. “

This means the Columbus housing market is growing despite COVID. And the bubble may not burst anytime soon.

High prices

According to the Columbus Council of Realtors, the average selling price in Columbus for July was $ 214,626, up 11.7% from last year. In neighboring Phoenix City, the average selling price in July rose 9.9% year-over-year to $ 208,273, according to the Alabama Council of Realtors.

Sellers in Columbus have traditionally contributed to the cost of home closing, as buyers and sellers usually share costs.

“We don’t see any of this now,” Giles said.

According to Giles, buyers in today’s market fully cover their closing costs without the involvement of sellers.

The number of days a house is listed on the market has dropped dramatically. In May 2020, the average number of days on the market was about 68 days. That number dropped to 44 days in May 2021, Giles said. Interest rates are also at historic lows, well below 5%.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp saw real estate as an important industry, Giles said, so agents worked on the pandemic.

“I would have thought that COVID would slow down our market simply because people would not want people to come to their home and potentially bring the disease,” he said.

According to Coldwell Banker realtor Dedrick Josie, buyers from the North moving to states such as Georgia and Florida are one of the reasons for the soaring house prices.

Others are “wealthy” buyers who have recently sold their own home and are using the proceeds to pay the full purchase price of the home, he said.

“Sellers tend to attract or entertain buyers with cash, rather than buyers who need an emergency, which is usually a loan,” Josie told the Ledger-Enquirer.

Will the bubble burst?

If the bubble does burst, don’t expect it to happen this year.

The strong seller market is projected to continue “until the end of the year,” Giles said. This is partly due to low interest rates.

“A 3% rate is not uncommon (in today’s market),” he said. “The lowest interest rate I have ever had was 6 5/8% and I was proud of that. I used to see houses with a 12% interest rate. “

Josie said he encourages buyers who may need contingencies to save as much money as possible to keep their offerings competitive. He also advises them to look into other loan products such as regular bank loans.

“This makes it difficult for (the realtor) and your client to navigate the search for a home if you don’t have what the sellers are looking for financially,” Josie said. “And it’s cash.”

Millennials, young people, and those attracted by Fort Benning and other major employers have a role to play in the city’s housing market. Millennials make up the largest proportion of home buyers in the country, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Nearly a third of millennials have reported COVID-19 pushed them to start the house hunt earlier than they planned, according to a survey by Clever Real Estate of 1,000 people planning to buy a home next year.

According to forecasts, the Columbus economy will also see ongoing recovery from the pandemic, according to the Seliga Economic Growth Center UGA.

“You know better where you are going to live when you put your home on the market,” Giles tells potential sellers, “because you are going to move in 30 days.”

Ledger-Enquirer reporter Joshua Mixon covers business and local development. He is a University of Georgia graduate and owner of Finn’s coolest dog. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshDMixon.


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