Columbus Housing Market Update- August 2014

For this update, I’m going to do things a bit differently. In previous updates, I have done long ranking lists and it got to be a bit overwhelming. So starting with this update, I’m going to do more charts instead.

In any case, August continued the year-long trend of home sales being down, with the month coming in at more than 11% off from the same time last year. Prices, however, were up more than 6% to reach a monthly record. There continues to be a supply problem, which is the main mechanism driving both lower sales and higher prices.

Now on to the charts!

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Columbus in Video History

March 1913 Flood
This video is mostly photos, but still quite interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2se6fjEPbPU

1950s
A video about Columbus being a test market (something that is still true somewhat today) and the impact of Reader’s Digest on Columbus businesses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga-W2RB4zjo

1964-1965
Images from OSU Campus, Downtown and more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDFHXtaUF28

1980
Check out this relocation video from when AEP moved its headquarters to Columbus from New York. Total cheese fest. The focus on suburban malls is interesting considering their decline today.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zdSSRYAKcc

1985
OSU Campus to Downtown near and along High Street.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPabRx9EPd4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNzFfIfR5W0

Ameriflora 1992
Who could forget this event? It was supposed to be a defining event for the city, but ended up very overhyped and not nearly the success that was promised.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on4_4HV9G7A

May 11, 1995
A Channel 4 news report on gas prices. Ironic that the report is that prices are too high, but I bet everyone would love to see these prices again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaX2CnPfCSY

Report on Domestic Migration by State: Part 1

Over the last few decades, much attention has been given to the fact that domestic migration has heavily favored the “Sun Belt”, states made up of the Southeast west to the West Coast. While Northern states weren’t all losing people, the region as a whole sent far more people to the Sun Belt than they retained. This helped fuel the respective Southern boom, and media story after media story over the years have made sweeping predictions of this growing powerhouse region, often centered around the idea that the boom had no foreseeable end. The irony with these predictions is that they ignored history. For more than 2 centuries, the North was where people moved. Its states and cities saw massive influxes of population. As recently as the decade of the 1950s, Ohio grew by nearly 2 million alone. Economic conditions in decline, job losses, particularly in the manufacturing industry, increases in the cost of living and other factors ended the boom and helped to bring about the rise of the South, so to speak. Since at least the 1960s, the story has been about the Sun Belt/West.

The US Census does state migration estimates every year, and there are some interesting things going on in the data that may indicate that the boom in the South is faltering while the North’s fortunes are not looking as grim as they once did.

First, what are the regions?
South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
North: Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.
West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Let’s next look at the states by rank of domestic migration in 2005, the earliest available year for the state data, and compared it to 2012, the most recent year available. This period covers the period just before and just after the Great Recession.

Domestic Migration Rank, 2005 vs. 2012, by Total
2005___________________________________2012
1. Florida: +188,035__________________________1. Florida: +108,823
2. Arizona: +131,501_________________________2. Texas: +105,565
3. Texas: +124,522__________________________3. Colorado: +43,530
4. Georgia: +88,250__________________________4. Washington: +37,187
5. North Carolina: +51,575_____________________5. North Carolina: +34,846
6. Tennessee: +43,901________________________6. South Carolina: +34,149
7. Oregon: +43,360___________________________7. Nevada: +25,835
8. Washington: +38,093________________________8. Arizona: +25,615
9. South Carolina: +32,312______________________9. Georgia: +25,204
10. Arkansas: +30,765_________________________10. Missouri: +20,176
11. Nevada: +26,839__________________________11. North Dakota: +14,254
12. Idaho: +20,308____________________________12. Tennessee: +13,255
13. Colorado: +16,963_________________________13. Virginia: +12,110
14. Oklahoma: +16,372_________________________14. Arkansas: +11,981
15. Alabama: +14,501__________________________15. Oregon: +10,742
16. New Mexico: +13,714_______________________16. New Hampshire: +10,711
17. Delaware: +12,561_________________________17. Delaware: +10,610
18. Virginia: +11,121___________________________18. Kentucky: +8,899
19. Kentucky: +7,451___________________________19. Mississippi: +6,569
20. Missouri: +6,338____________________________20. Oklahoma: +6,402
21. Iowa: +5,406_______________________________21. Utah: +5,717
22. Montana: +4,185____________________________22. Vermont: +4,375
23. Pennsylvania: +2,868________________________23. South Dakota: +3,578
24. Maine: +2,447______________________________24. Montana: +3,410
25. Hawaii: +2,388______________________________25. Idaho: +3,400
26. West Virginia: +998__________________________26. Wisconsin: +1,468
27. New Hampshire: +497________________________27. Iowa: +275
28. South Dakota: +360__________________________28. Ohio: -105
29. Wyoming: -366______________________________29. West Virginia: -300
30. Minnesota: -1,154____________________________30. Wyoming: -639
31. Kansas: -2,244______________________________31. Maryland: -2,821
32. North Dakota: -2,553__________________________32. Rhode Island: -2,948
33. Wisconsin: -2,756____________________________33. Louisiana: -4,741
34. Vermont: -3,580_____________________________34. Kansas: -4,850
35. Nebraska: -5,128____________________________35. Nebraska: -5,174
36. Utah: -5,639________________________________36. Hawaii: -6,364
37. Connecticut: -6,536__________________________37. Connecticut: -6,712
38. Mississippi: -7,120___________________________38. Washington D.C.: -7,470
39. Indiana: -9,222______________________________39. New Mexico: -9,228
40. Maryland: -9,718____________________________40. Alabama: -9,431
41. Washington D.C.: -12,872_____________________41. Indiana: -10,460
42. Rhode Island: -15,037________________________42. Maine: -11,025
43. New Jersey: -22,051_________________________43. Minnesota: -14,904
44. Alaska: -23,567_____________________________44. Massachusetts: -15,579
45. Ohio: -40,841______________________________45. Pennsylvania: -21,656
46. Massachusetts: -52,726______________________46. Michigan: -41,761
47. Michigan: -53,852___________________________47. Alaska: -49,250
48. Illinois: -55,932_____________________________48. Illinois: -68,356
49. Louisiana: -99,684__________________________49. California: -73,345
50. New York: -239,848_________________________50. New Jersey: -89,666
51. California: -266,243_________________________51. New York: -135,149

So in 2005, the breakdown was as follows:
12 of 14 Southern states had positive domestic migration. The only 2 that did not, Louisiana and Mississippi, were heavily influenced in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, which caused large numbers of displaced residents to leave the states entirely.
7 of 24 Northern states has positive domestic migration. The 7 states were mixed between the Midwest and the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. Just one Great Lakes State had positive domestic migration in 2005.
9 of 13 Western states had positive domestic migration. Only California and a few Mountain West states had negative numbers.

The 2005 numbers show the overall domestic migration picture as it had been for at least the last few decades, if not much longer. The South and West were the dominant net gainers of domestic migration, while most of the North sent people to those regions.

In 2012, the breakdown was as follows:
11 of 14 Southern states had positive domestic migration. Even with Katrina-hit state Mississippi having net gains in 2012, the overall number of states with positive gains declined.
8 of 24 Northern states had positive domestic migration, a slight improvement over 2005.
8 of 13 Western states had positive domestic migration, a slight decline over 2005.

But the breakdowns don’t tell us the whole story. When trying to compare the two years, trends are very important, and the trends are far more revealing.

Total Change 2005-2012 By Rank
1. California: +192,898
2. New York: +104,699
3. Louisiana: +94,943
4. Ohio: +40,736
5. Massachusetts: +37,147
6. Colorado: +26,567
7. North Dakota: +16,807
8. Missouri: +13,838
9. Mississippi: +13,689
10. Michigan: +12,091
11. Rhode Island: +12,089
12. Utah: +11,356
13. New Hampshire: +10,214
14. Vermont: +7,955
15. Maryland: +6,897
16.Washington, D.C.: +5,402
17. Wisconsin: +4,224
18. South Dakota: +3,218
19. South Carolina: +1,837
20. Kentucky: +1,448
21. Virginia: +989
22. Nebraska: -46
23. Connecticut: -176
24. Wyoming: -273
25. Montana: -775
26. Washington: -906
27. Nevada: -1,004
28. Indiana: -1,238
29. West Virginia: -1,298
30. Delaware: -1,951
31. Kansas: -2,606
32. Iowa: -5,131
33. Hawaii: -8,752
34. Oklahoma: -9,970
35. Illinois: -12,424
36. Maine: -13,472
37. Minnesota: -13,750
38. North Carolina: -16,729
39. Idaho: -16,908
40. Arkansas: -18,784
41. Texas: -18,957
42. New Mexico: -22,942
43. Alabama: -23,932
44. Pennsylvania: -24,524
45. Alaska: -25,683
46. Tennessee: -30,646
47. Oregon: -32,618
48. Georgia: -63,046
49. New Jersey: -67,615
50. Florida: -79,212
51. Arizona: -105,886

5 of 14 Southern states improved their domestic migration rates 2005-2012.
13 of 24 Northern states improved their domestic migration rates 2005-2012.
3 of 13 Western states improved their domestic migration rates 2005-2012.

Ohio had the 4th best improvement over the period, a huge change. But some might ask, is it really a change when the rates may still be positive or negative like they were before? Well, yes and no. 7 years is not that long, and we’re talking about decades-long patterns here. Those won’t change like flipping a switch. It will take time. The point is more that for many states that have faced negative numbers for a long time, there is positive momentum now that they did not have before. Another question some may ask, however, is if the recession during the period reduced mobility. In some cases, I’m sure that it did, but if so, that reduction seems to have been centered on the South. A reduction in mobility would only indicate that migration rates would reduce to levels around 0, neither particularly positive nor negative. That reduction would NOT necessarily support switches from positive to negative or increases in negative or positive rates that already exist. Meaning that reduced mobility would mean that positive would become less positive as fewer people moved in, and negative would become less negative as fewer people left. On a state and regional basis, there is a wide range of results that do not support that geographic mobility alone is the culprit, or even a primary factor.

In Part 2, we’ll look more closely at how regions and individual states are performing relative to each other.

Link of the Day: The Columbus Land Bank

The Columbus Land Bank got started back in 1994 to address vacant land and properties, but more specifically, the worst of the worst. Over the years, the number of properties on the list has grown into the hundreds as the city bought the properties to either renovate what could be renovated, or to demolish those that could not be saved and were contributing to the decline of surrounding neighborhoods.

The city provides a few links where these properties can be searched for and purchased. The properties are in various stages of decline and are being sold only to those qualified to renovate the properties or replace them with new development. Many of them are in urban locations, and most of the houses are old, with many retaining elements of their original architecture. In most cases, they need major to moderate rehabs, however. Given the rise of urban living lately and the rapid pace of revitalization happening throughout urban Columbus, these properties maintain some inherent value despite what their overall condition may be.

The first link is an interactive map where you can search for properties. It’s a great resource where you can search by address, street or area. You can also apply to buy properties if you are so inclined.
https://public-cbus.epropertyplus.com/landmgmtpub/app/base/propertySearch

The second link is a list of for-sale property highlights. This list is updated through the last 90 days.
http://columbus.gov/landredevelopment/listings/

Take a look!

Columbus Housing Market Update- June 2014

June’s housing data for the Columbus region was just released. The month continued the same story as the previous 5 months, with home sales down due to a lack of inventory. Prices continued to rise and the number of days to sell a home continued to fall in relation to this problem. As always, I looked at 21 major areas of the Columbus region, both urban and suburban. Here is how those areas performed.

Top 10 June 2014 Sales Totals
1. Columbus: 1,045
2. Upper Arlington: 109
3. Dublin: 108
4. Clintonville: 83
5. Westerville: 77
6. Gahanna: 63
7. Grove City: 62
8. Reynoldsburg: 59
9. New Albany: 38

Top 10 June 2014 Sales Increases over June 2013
1. Downtown: +72.0%
2. Grove City: +14.5%
3. Gahanna: +12.7%
4. German Village: +10.5%
5. Grandview Heights: +6.3%
6. Canal Winchester: +3.8%
7. Hilliard: 0.0%
8. Minerva Park: 0.0%
9. Columbus: -1.8%
10. Reynoldsburg: -5.1%

Top 10 Year-to-Date Sales Through June 2014
1. Columbus: 4,803
2. Dublin: 362
3. Grove City: 332
4. Clintonville: 323
5. Westerville: 299
6. Upper Arlington: 294
7. Reynoldsburg: 265
8. Hilliard: 258
9. Gahanna: 221
10. Pickerington: 136

Top 10 Year-to-Date Increases Through June 2014 Over 2013
1. Obetz: +42.1%
2. Downtown: +13.4%
3. Grove City: +11.0%
4. New Albany: +2.8%
5. Reynoldsburg: -0.4%
6. Westerville: -3.2%
7. Pataskala: -3.4%
8. German Village: -3.9%
9. Columbus: -5.3%
10. Clintonville: -5.8%

Average Sales June 2014
Urban: 122.3
Suburban: 55.1
Urban without Columbus: 30

Average % Change June 2014 vs. June 2013
Urban: -5.8%
Suburban: -5.1%
Urban without Columbus: -6.0%

Average YTD Sales Through June 2014
Urban: 545
Suburban: 222.6
Urban without Columbus: 119.2

Average YTD % Change YTD Through June 2014
Urban: -4.8%
Suburban: -5.3%
Urban without Columbus: -4.7%

Top 10 Average Sales Price June 2014
1. New Albany: $659,186
2. Upper Arlington: $389,575
3. Bexley: $382,496
4. Dublin: $377,541
5. German Village: $307,753
6. Downtown: $300,582
7. Worthington: $283,209
8. Grandview Heights: $246,271
9. Hilliard: $230,396
10. Gahanna: $229,845

Top 10 Average Sales Price % Change June 2014 vs. June 2013
1. Whitehall: +55.6%
2. Worthington: +17.7%
3. New Albany: +15.8%
4. Bexley: +15.6%
5. Columbus: +12.2%
6. Clintonville: +9.3%
7. Hilliard: +8.5%
8. Canal Winchester: +7.4%
9. Pickerington: +6.7%
10. Gahanna: +6.4%

Top 10 Average Sales Prices YTD Through June 2014
1. New Albany: $541,077
2. Dublin: $360,202
3. Upper Arlington: $348,160
4. Bexley: $334,491
5. Downtown: $305,215
6. German Village: $302,117
7. Worthington: $261,659
8. Grandview Heights: $245,946
9. Hilliard: $225,849
10. Gahanna: $213,782

Top 10 Average YTD Sales Price % Change Through June 2014 vs. 2013
1. Obetz: +24.7%
2. Grandview Heights: +15.5%
3. Worthington: +11.3%
4. Pataskala: +10.8%
5. Columbus: +10.6%
6. Pickerington: +9.9%
7. Canal Winchester: +9.5%
8. Downtown: +9.5%
9. Dublin: +9.2%
10. Westerville: +8.5%

Average Sales Price June 2014
Urban: $232,965
Suburban: $253,488
Urban without Columbus: $240,917

Average Sales Price Change June 2014 vs. June 2013
Urban: +7.6%
Suburban: +5.0%
Urban without Columbus: +7.1%

Average Sales Price YTD Through June 2014
Urban: $220,893
Suburban: $234,492
Urban without Columbus: $229,327

Average Sales Price % Change YTD Through June 2014
Urban: +6.6%
Suburban: +7.5%
Urban without Columbus: +6.2%

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets June 2014 (Based on Average # of Days for Listings to Sell)
1. Worthington: 21
2. Upper Arlington: 36
3. Clintonville: 38
4. Gahanna: 39
5. Hilliard: 39
6. Dublin: 40
7. German Village: 42
8. Obetz: 45
9. Bexley: 46
10. Pataskala, Westerville: 47

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets YTD Through June 2014
1. Worthington: 39
2. Minerva Park: 44
3. Upper Arlington: 44
4. Obetz: 46
5. Hilliard: 47
6. Clintonville: 52
7. Westerville: 53
8. Grandview Heights: 54
9. Dublin: 57
10. Bexley: 59

Average # of Days Before Sale, June 2014
Urban: 47.8
Suburban: 54.3
Urban without Columbus: 47.3

Average # of Days Before Sale YTD Through June 2014
Urban: 58.6
Suburban: 67.8
Urban without Columbus: 57.4

Top 10 Lowest Market Housing Supplies June 2014 (Based on # of Months to Sell all Listings)
1. Grandview Heights: 1.0
2. Worthington: 1.4
3. Westerville: 2.0
4. Clintonville: 2.1
5. German Village: 2.1
6. Gahanna: 2.3
7. Hilliard: 2.5
8. Minerva Park: 2.7
9. Obetz: 2.7
10. Upper Arlington: 2.7

A healthy housing supply is considered to be around 5-6 months. Anything less than 3 months is considered very low. Grandview’s 1 month is ridiculously low and the lowest reading I’ve seen for any area.

Average # of Months to Sell All Listings, June 2014
Urban: 2.7
Suburban: 3.5
Urban without Columbus: 2.6

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales June 2014 vs. June 2013
Urban: +33.2%
Suburban: -5.4%
Urban without Columbus: +36.8%

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales YTD Through June 2014 vs. YTD 2013
Urban: -8.8%
Suburban: -5.4%
Urban without Columbus: -8.9%


Average % Change of Condo Sales June 2014 vs. June 2013

Urban: -4.0%
Suburban: +41.0%
Urban without Columbus: -5.0%

Average % Change of Condo Sales YTD Through June 2014 vs. YTD 2013
Urban: +19.3%
Suburban: +7.0%
Urban without Columbus: +21.0%

Lots of Updates

I have made some significant updates to the blog. Beyond adding several new posts, here are recent updates you should check out:

-New Pages! I broke up the Historic Buildings Database: Residential page as it was just getting too large. I separated the Old Towne East/King-Lincoln section into its own page, and may at some point separate out more neighborhoods. In the meantime, I have added dozens of new houses to the residential pages, along with new maps and updated information.

-I also started another Historic Buildings Database page for hotels and retail buildings. There’s not a lot on it yet, but it will grow just as the residential pages have.

-I added more Google Maps links: Columbus’ Lost Historic Buildings map for historic buildings that have been destroyed or lost, and a general Columbus Historic Building map for those buildings that still exist. I have also added a Columbus Development 2014-2017 map. Check them out! They have all been recently updated, and will be continuously updated.

-I have made several updates to the individual weather month pages, and added a page for April.

-I added new share links for posts and pages, so that if you like what you see, please share it!

-Finally, I have added a new comment system using the Disqus platform. I’d love to see more comments, suggestions and conversation take place here.

Columbus Metro’s GDP vs. the Midwest

Rank of Midwest Major Metros by GDP, 2001 vs. 2012
In Millions
2001————————–2012
1. Chicago: $403,556____________________1. Chicago: $571,008
2. Detroit: $183,864____________________2. Minneapolis: $220,167
3. Minneapolis: $146,155________________3. Detroit: $208,379
4. St. Louis: $99,086___________________4. St. Louis: $136,677
5. Cleveland: $85,188___________________5. Indianapolis: $116,094
6. Kansas City: $77,733_________________6. Kansas City: $113,090
7. Cincinnati: $77,488__________________7. Cleveland: $111,597
8. Indianapolis: $75,622________________8. Cincinnati: $108,236
9. Columbus: $72,029____________________9. Columbus: $100,512
10. Milwaukee: $63,540__________________10. Milwaukee: $88,708
11. Grand Rapids: $34,297_______________11. Omaha: $51,878
12. Omaha: $31,859______________________12. Grand Rapids: $43,862
13. Dayton: $27,932_____________________13. Dayton: $33,858
14. Toledo: $21,293_____________________14. Akron: $29,466
15. Akron: $20,901______________________15. Toledo: $28,311

Total Change by Rank in Millions, 2001-2012
1. Chicago: +$167,452
2. Minneapolis: +$74,012
3. Indianapolis: +$40,472
4. St. Louis: $37,591
5. Kansas City: +$35,357
6. Cleveland: +$30,748
7. Columbus: +$28,483
8. Cincinnati: +$26,409
9. Milwaukee: +$25,168
10. Detroit: +$24,515
11. Omaha: +$20,019
12. Grand Rapids: +$9,565
13. Akron: +$8,565
14. Toledo: +$7,018
15. Dayton: +$5,926

Total % Change by Rank, 2001-2012
1. Omaha: +62.84%
2. Indianapolis: +53.52%
3. Minneapolis: +50.64%
4. Kansas City: +45.49%
5. Chicago: +41.49%
6. Akron: +40.98%
7. Cleveland: +39.68%
8. Milwaukee: +39.60%
9. Columbus: +39.54%
10. St Louis: +37.94%
11. Toledo: +32.96%
12. Cincinnati: +31.0%
13. Grand Rapids: +27.89%
14. Dayton: +21.22%
15. Detroit: +13.33%

Columbus is in the top half of total growth (barely), but in the bottom half by %. It is one of the fastest-growing metros in the Midwest, so its economic output seems to be lagging that of more slowly-growing metros.

Finally, let’s take a look at per-capita GDP and income.

Rank of Metros by Per-Capita GDP in Hundreds, 2012
1. Minneapolis: $55,514
2. Chicago: $51,350
3. Indianapolis: $50,981
4. Omaha: $49,856
5. Milwaukee: $49,330
6. Kansas City: $48,311
7. Cleveland: $46,238
8. Columbus: $44,658
9. Cincinnati: $43,291
10. Detroit: $42,655
11. St. Louis: $41,670
12. Toledo: $39,052
13. Grand Rapids: $37,957
14. Dayton: $36,687
15. Akron: $35,835

Total Growth 2001-2012 by Rank
1. Omaha: +$4,056
2. Minneapolis: +$3,490
3. Milwaukee: +$3,351
4. Akron: +$2,793
5. Chicago: +$2,595
6. Cleveland: +$2,367
7. Kansas City: +$2,046
8. Indianapolis: +$1,659
9. Toledo: +$1,572
10. St. Louis: +$704
11. Cincinnati: +$679
12. Grand Rapids: -$1,051
13. Dayton: -$1,090
14. Detroit: $-1,439
15. Columbus: -$1,701

Columbus had the worst performance of all 15 metros during the period.

Total Change 2010-2012 by Rank
1. Detroit: +$3,035
2. Toledo: +$2,927
3. Grand Rapids: $2,536
4. Minneapolis: +$2,342
5. Cleveland: +$2,295
6. Chicago: +$1,893
7. Cincinnati: +$1,683
8. Columbus: +$1,532
9. Indianapolis: +$1,481
10. St Louis: $1,164
11. Kansas City: +$1,156
12. Akron: +$897
13. Dayton: +$652
14. Omaha: +$522
15. Milwaukee: +$428

Columbus has done better more recently, but still lags behind many others. This, again, seems to be function of a GDP that is not keeping up with population growth.

May 2014 Jobs Data

May was generally a positive month for Columbus and Ohio. Unemployment rates did creep up a bit, but largely because more people came onto the market looking for jobs, which is considered a positive sign.

Also positive is that almost every industry saw decent growth in the metro.

Columbus City
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.4%
Civilian Labor Force: 435,500
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -2,000
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +1,800
Employment: 416,400
Employment Change since May 2013: +5,600
Employment Change since January 2014: +8,000
Unemployment: 19,100
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -7,500
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -6,300

Franklin County
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.7%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.5%
Civilian Labor Force: 636,400
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -2,600
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +2,800
Employment: 608,300
Employment Change since May 2013: +6,100
Employment Change since January 2014: +11,800
Unemployment: 28,100
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -10,700
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -9,000

Columbus Metro Area
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.6%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014: -1.6%
Civilian Labor Force: 982,412
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -4,512
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: +2,216
Employment: 939,332
Employment Change since May 2013: +12,108
Employment Change since January 2014: +17,688
Unemployment: 43,080
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -16,620
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -15,472

Ohio Overall
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Unemployment Rate Change since May 2013: -1.9%
Unemployment Rate Change since January 2014 : -1.4%
Civilian Labor Force: 5,721,891
Civilian Labor Force Change since May 2013: -48,893
Civilian Labor Force Change since January 2014: -41,237
Employment: 5,406,014
Employment Change since May 2013: +60,405
Employment Change since January 2014: +38,259
Unemployment: 315,877
Unemployment Change since May 2013: -109,298
Unemployment Change since January 2014: -79,496

Metro Non-Farm Jobs
Total: 995,600
Change from May 2013: +11,100
Change from January 2014: +29,800

By Industry
Mining/Logging/Construction Total: 33,700
Change from May 2013: +1,900
Change from January 2014: +4,400

Manufacturing Total: 67,700
Change from May 2013: -100
Change from January 2014: +1,700

Trade/Transportation/Utilities Total: 187,900
Change from May, 2013: +3,900
Change from January 2014: +1,500

Information Total: 18,100
Change from May 2013: +100
Change from January 2014: +0

Financial Activities Total: 73,500
Change from May 2013: -2,000
Change from January 2014: -300

Professional and Business Services Total: 162,500
Change from May 2013: -700
Change from January 2014: +4,100

Education and Health Services Total: 142,500
Change from May 2013: +2,800
Change from January 2014: +5,300

Leisure and Hospitality Total: 103,00
Change from May 2013: +1,800
Change from January 2014: +9,100

Other Services Total: 38,900
Change from May 2013: +900
Change from January 2014: +600

Government Total: 167,800
Change from May 2013: +2,500
Change from January 2014: +3,400

A Glimpse at 1960s Preservation Efforts and the Mystery of the Alfred E. Kelley House

In my research into finding photos and information on historic buildings in Columbus, I have come across some interesting documents related to why some buildings were demolished. Take the Alfred E. Kelley House, which once stood at 282 E. Broad Street. Built over the course of about a year between 1837-1838, the house was a classic Greek Revival. Over the many years of its existence, the house functioned in multiple capacities, including as a school. During those other uses, the architecture was drastically altered, and by 1960, the year the house was proposed to be demolished to build the Christopher Inn, the historic nature had been “severely damaged”. Still, the house had survived 122 years by then, and a history-minded group of people got together to try and save it with the intent of restoration and operating a period museum.

The Kelley House in 1898.


Photo taken around 1900.


Photo taken around 1900.


The Kelley House in 1958.


The rear of the Kelley House in 1958.


An interior room of the Kelley House in 1958.

In early January 1962, the efforts to save the house during the previous year were detailed by one Dixie Sayre Miller, chairman of the Kelley House Committee, which had been formed on March 24th, 1961. The goal of the committee was as follows:

“Considering the time element and the importance of Kelley to the State**, the committee decided to ask the legislature for money for which to move the house intact. We, later, would seek private money with which to restore it.”

The Committee had some powerful allies at the time. State Rep. Chris McNamara and John Vorys, former delegate to the UN, were both in leadership roles. Given this, even during a time when preservation efforts took a clear backseat to development, the Committee did meet with some initial success. The Kelley House legislative subcommittee was able to pass an appropriations bill in July 1961 for the amount of $95,000. The governor vetoed the bill, calling the appropriation “frivolous”. In August, a member of the Committee, Lee Skilken, had the idea to solicit local contractors to volunteer in taking down the house in order for it to be moved. When the idea was presented to the property owners on September 5th, it was rejected because it could not be guaranteed that the property would be clear in time for construction to begin. Instead, the owners wanted a paid contractor to do the work so that the timeline could be met. The land had to be cleared by October 15th, 1961, and the Committee had to have the money to pay the contractor by September 15th.

Here is where the story becomes a bit shady and political. On September 6th, members of the committee went to the Governor for advice on how to proceed. He recommended that they go to the Emergency Board, which would be able to issue a grant towards the project. The Governor promised he would “not object, would not fight it and would not make a political issue of it”.
On September 15th, the money deadline, the Committee had raised only $11,000 towards the $35,000 cost of the paid contractor. However, the following day, they caught a break. Another contractor came forward offering to take down the house for just $20,000 and would begin immediately. Further, even though the Committee did not have the full $20,000, the contractor trusted that the Committee would have raised the amount by the time the work was completed. I’m not sure if such deals would ever occur in today’s environment, but they still happened 53 years ago.
Only 2 days after the contractor began to take down the house, the Emergency Board awarded a $20,000 grant to the Committee and the house was fully dismantled before the deadline of October 15th. Stonework and foundations of the house were moved to a holding site at Franklin Park, while interior detailing was stored “in a city building”, all waiting for funding to be assembled and restored at a new site. This new site was listed as being in Wolfe Park on “East Broad at Nelson Road”.

So, why isn’t the Alfred E. Kelley house at Wolfe Park today? Two things happened after October 15th. First, the Governor lied. On the very day that the Committee was supposed to pay the contractor, they received a call stating that the Governor had deemed the Emergency Board grant unconstitutional and was withholding the money, despite being his recommendation that the Committee seek the grant from it in the first place. This also after a promise that he would not interfere or stand in the way. The Committee considered legal action, but decided a costly court process was not “advisable”.

Without the $20,000, the Committee was only able to pay the contractor $6,000, who then threatened legal action for the full amount. Since the Committee had neglected to be incorporated, each member was personally responsible for a share of what was owed. By December 1961, the Committee had become incorporated and had managed to pay an additional $2,000, but still owed the majority of the contract.

That concluded the events through January 1962. After that time, there are mysteries that remain unknown (at least as far as I can tell). First, what happened to the Committee? Did it end up raising the amount to pay off the contractor or did they end up in court? Why had the Governor decided to prevent the Committee from getting the grant? Did he have a political axe to grind with members of the Committee? Finally, and far more importantly, what happened to the Kelley House? The materials were in storage in early 1962, but the house was never rebuilt. Were they destroyed? Did the contractor take possession of them if the Committee was unable to pay? Are they still sitting in some warehouse somewhere covered in half a century’s worth of dust? We may never know, though I suspect that someone out there has the answers.

The irony of a Dispatch article from the fall of 1961.

**Kelley helped save the state from bankruptcy during the Panic of 1837 by offering up his house, possessions and business interests as collateral.

Edit 7/18/2014:
I guess research pays off, and now, at least part of the mystery is solved. As mentioned above, part of the house’s remains, particularly the stone and brick portions, were stored at Franklin Park after the demolition in 1961. Five years later in 1966, these were moved to the Ohio Expositions Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. By then, the plans no longer called for putting the house back together and restoring it. Instead, the stone materials were planned to be incorporated into a new Ohio Historical Center in the late 1960s, presumably the one that sits adjacent to the fairgrounds today. But that plan also fell through. Today, the material is currently in the hands of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. This still leaves many questions unanswered, such as where the interior portions of the house ended up, why none of the material was reused in Columbus and how they ended up in Cleveland. Perhaps an email to the WRHS is in order.