I bet I looked at over 100 houses when my family decided to upgrade from our “starter home” just before the millennium. The biggest obstacle we faced was selling our current home in a timely manner before someone else bid on the homes we liked. Our house sat on the market for almost a year before selling. Because of that, we finally decided the best way to resolve our housing dilemma was to wait until our house finally sold, buy a lot, and build our new home.
But that was 20 years ago, and the housing market has changed a lot since that time – but some positive factors remain the same. While I am not currently in the market for a new home, I reached out to two local top-selling realtors (and Chamber members), Andrew Guanciale with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and Kelly Parker with Kelly & Company, HER Realtors, for insight on the current trends in Licking County.
First, I asked each of them about the current housing market in comparison to the past 3-5 years.
Andrew emphatically stated that the housing market in Licking County is extraordinarily strong! He said this is a “great time to sell your home and make probably the most you could ever make!” Kelly echoed similar sentiments, saying the market is “healthy and strong and has been consistent for the past 3-5 years.” The numbers back these assessments up. There are over 900 current home listings in Licking County. Three years ago, the median list price of a home was $189,900; fast forward to the current market, and the median list price is roughly $230,000. THAT is a strong market!
I was very curious about the impact of the pandemic on the housing market. Both Andrew and Kelly noted it presented challenges at first, but they figured it out quickly and saw little downtime. Andrew noted that younger buyers, in the 25-40 age range “weren’t too concerned with the pandemic” and had the ability to see a “new listing ASAP”. He also noted that buyers of all ages were much more flexible with the days and times they were available to tour because many were working from home. He and Kelly both noted that new precautions were put in place by realtors to make buyers more comfortable. Kelly noted the need for “virtual tours” and ensuring new listings had floor plans and 3D videos so buyers could truly shop online. She said buyers “are respectful of people’s homes and are careful while they are entering a home - wearing masks, not touching door handles etc. Personally, my numbers are right on track with last year’s numbers and this is consistent with the entire market.”
Finally, I asked “what is the biggest challenge when it comes to the real estate market in Licking County? Andrew noted two challenges: “Lack of sellable inventory and multi generation buyers going after the same home!” The lack of inventory has been an issue for the past few years. The ranch style home market in Licking County has always been popular because of our large Baby Boomer population. Now, younger buyers seem to be drawn toward ranch houses also, but some Boomers are able to cinch the sale because they can often offer cash. Kelly, again, agreed that the lack of inventory is the biggest obstacle in the real estate market. She advices her clients who are even considering selling this year, “NOW is the best time! Most listings in the past 3 months, if they are priced appropriately, are receiving multiple offers in the first few days and selling over the asking price. We have so many buyers right now that we cannot keep up with the demand.”
Licking County’s housing market mirrors so many other aspects of our community. Strong, and positive!