image stating 2021 and has a a house on it

Fervent buyer demand, driven by pandemic-induced changes to housing needs and preferences, reached extraordinary levels in 2021. The inventory of homes for sale remained low, as home seller activity did not rise proportionally to meet this demand.

New construction activity, while strong, remains limited by a combination of material and labor shortages, rising material costs, and a regulatory and operational environment that makes it difficult to scale quickly.

As a result, home prices and sales reached record highs while inventory and market time set record lows.

The strong seller’s market of 2020 continued and even strengthened in 2021, with inventory levels remaining low and multiple offer situations common across much of the housing market both locally and nationally. Multiple offers again drove prices significantly higher for the year.  

The number of homes listed for sale last year was higher than in any year since 2010, when the country was recovering from the stock market and housing crash of 2008, and far too many homeowners were forced to sell their homes.

Home sales were up 9.1 percent to end the year at 36,489.

The overall median sales price increased 12.1 percent to $260,000 for the year. Single family home prices were up 12.6 percent compared to last year, and condo home prices were up 14.3 percent.

Sellers received, on average, 10.2 percent of their list price at sale, up 2.4 percent from 2020.

Now for the report summary.


In Contract

In Contracts increased 7.6 percent, finishing 2021 at 36,912. Valleyview once again was the area that showed the most growth for homes in contract, gaining over 72% of homes in contract. Grandview Heights showed the least number of homes in contract being down by more than 30% from 2020. Columbus has seen a steady gain of annual homes in contract since 2017, with a minor 3% dip in 2018 from 2017.   


 image showing how many homes went into contract in 2021

Closed Sales

Closed sales were up 9.1 percent to end the year at 36,489 which set a record for central Ohio. The top area, as expected was Valleyview, gaining by 100% in closed sales.

Top 5 Areas: Change in Closed Sales 

  1. Valleyview                               100%
  2. Northridge School District         47.7%
  3.  Washington Court House          45.0%
  4. Miami Trace Local                     41.8%
  5. Hamilton Local                         25.6%

image showing columbus ohio totak closed sales


Listings: Comparing 2021 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was up 3.5 percent. There were 2,121 active listings at the end of 2021. The top area to add the most new listings was the Valleyview area of Columbus which increased by 110% and the worst area for new listings in central Ohio was Grandview Heights, which was down by 29.9% from 2020. 

graph showing new homes for sale in central Ohio  

New listings increased by 10.9 percent to finish the year at 39,957 which is the highest seen since 2010, when the country was recovering from the stock market and housing crash of 2008, and far too many homeowners were forced to sell their homes.


Prices: Home prices were up compared to last year. The overall median sales price increased 12.1 percent to $260,000 for the year. Single Family home prices were up 12.6 percent compared to last year, and Condo home prices were up 14.3 percent.

graph showing median sold price by home type since 2017

List Price Received

List Price Received: Sellers received, on average, 102.2 percent of their last list price at sale, up 2.4 percent from 2020. The 2021 housing market was once again strong both locally and nationally. Inventory shortages and high buyer demand continued to push home prices higher, with multiple offers on a limited number of homes the common theme in most market segments.  

graph showing sold to list price percent

Lender Mediated Price

Lender-Mediated Properties: Forbearance efforts by the government and lenders continued for much of the year,  limiting distressed sales activity once again. In 2021, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale decreased by 29.2 percent to finish the year at 1.2 percent of the market. 

Foreclosure and short sale activity may increase in 2022, though the strong gains in equity seen by most homeowners in the last few years will help to limit the number of distressed sales. 

graph showing how many homes sold by lender

Supply and Demand

Population in the counties served by the Columbus REALTORS MLS increased by 13 percent between 2010 and 2020 census representing 85.5 percent of the population growth for all of Ohio. Keeping pace with the population growth, the number of new listings grew by just 14 percent over the last decade.

However, home sales have grown 58 percent during the same time frame. Ten years ago, Realtors were selling 66% of inventory. In 2021, they sold 91.3 percent. The 3 major areas seeing population growth were Delaware, Union and Franklin counties. 


graph showing population change in central Ohio


Realtor Sold Listings Since 2012

Realtors were selling 66% of inventory in 2012. In 2021, they sold 91.3 percent. 

graph showing homes sold by realtors since 2012


Home sales reached 169,585 in 2021, a 5.2 percent increase from the 2020 year-end level of 161,231. The average sales price across Ohio I 2021 reached $239,295, a 12.3 percent increase from the $213,051 mark posted in 2020.


In 2021, existing home sales totaled 6.12 million-an increase of 8.5% from the prior year and the highest annual level since 2006.

Total housing inventory at the end of December was down 14.2% from the previous tear. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief economist does expect existing home sales to slow slightly in the coming months due to higher mortgage rates but noted that recent employment gains and stricter underwriting standards ensure home sales are in no danger of crashing. He forecasts rates to remain below 4% by year end and wages to hold firm due to a tight labor market.

Mortgage Rates

See below for the experts predictions for mortgage rates for 2022.

This may change since the Ukrainian outbreak as the feds are stating they will increase rates at least 3 times this year. That affects the borrowers debt to income ratio and those buyers who are on the financing bubble should stay in contract with their lender to ensure they can still qualify for their current sales price.

The average of all four major lending institutions, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Mortgage Banker Association (MBA) and NAR (National Association of Realtors) shows rates will be at 3.75% by 4th quarter. All 4 are showing less than 4%. 2023 looks like it will be around 3.82% average of aall four. 



graph showing mortgage rate predictions by main lenders for 2022   


2022 looks to continue the same trends seen in the last 18 months, pushing home prices higher still.  As mortgage rates are likely to continue to rise over the year as well, housing affordability will remain an important factor to watch.