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Central Ohio housing market begins to stabilize with record high mortgage rates

Even though real estate experts say it’s still a seller’s market, buyers may now have a better chance, if they can afford the higher rates.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the country despite record-high mortgage rates.

Even though it remains a seller’s market, buyers now have a good chance of getting an offer accepted, if they can afford the higher rates.

“We're really normalizing. It's not that it's a crisis or a crash or a shift,” said Kim Mills of Cutler Real Estate. “You can put skin in the game as a buyer a little bit easier than you could let’s say six to nine months ago.”

Those mortgage rates though are the highest since 2002.
According to the Mortgage Banker's Association mortgage applications are down 42% from this time last year. 

“I like to have buyers be really secure with what the payment is, right? So focus right now on today's rate,” said Mills. “Can you afford this payment and are you comfortable with this payment? Once the interest rates come down, no one has the crystal ball to know when that's going to happen, but once that happens you can then decide if a [refinance] makes sense for you.”

For sellers, you may have to put in more work to get your home off the market.

“We're seeing sellers having to contribute to that we haven’t seen in two years,” said Shaun Simpson of Cutler Real Estate and the Columbus Realtors Board of Directors. “I just had a radon test come back and I haven't had a client have to put in a radon mitigation system in two years.”

As homes are on the market longer -- the average sale price is starting to dip.

“The average sale price in April was $334,000 and the average sale price in September of this year was $331,000,” said Sue Van Woerkom, President of Columbus REALTORS.

Even though inventory remains low -- the bottom line: “if you're looking to buy, yes, now is a good time,” said Mills.

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