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.

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.

An Examination of Columbus’ International Migration

First, let’s take a look at the total of international immigrants becoming legal citizens each year in the Columbus metro.

Online Graphing
Graph maker

As can be seen, the totals seem to be on a trend of increasing over time, but not significantly.
The 5 year combined totals are:
2004-2008: 24,377
2009-2013: 25,418

But where are all these people coming from? Luckily, we have that answer, and it may surprise you. I added up the total for the entire 10 year period, as well as broken down into the 5-year periods for all nations.

2004-2008 Nations of Origin for International Immigrants to the Columbus Metro
(All Nations with at least 150 Immigrants to Columbus)
1. Somalia: 4,322
2. India: 2,080
3. Ghana: 1,667
4. China: 1,389
5. Ethiopia: 1,069
6. Kenya: 922
7. Mexico: 556
8. Sierra Leon: 449
9. Philippines: 434
10. Nigeria: 400
11. Canada: 389
12. Mauritania: 377
13. South Korea: 355
14. United Kingdom: 347
15. Vietnam: 347
16. Russia: 313
17. Ukraine: 306
18. Liberia: 304
19. Morocco: 298
20. Pakistan: 287
21. Jordan: 284
22. Egypt: 245
23. Guatemala: 222
24. Bangladesh: 221
25. Senegal: 214
26. Taiwan: 201
27. Japan: 198
28. Guinea: 191
29. Dominican Republic: 176
30. Iran: 174
31. Colombia: 170
32. Peru: 158

Somalia may be expected in its very dominant position at #1, but the list becomes decidedly mixed the further down you go.

2009-2013 Nations of Origin for International Immigrants to the Columbus Metro
1. Somalia: 2,988
2. India: 2,267
3. Ghana: 1,903
4. China: 1,299
5. Ethiopia: 1,233
6. Kenya: 1,030
7. Iraq: 729
8. Mexico: 622
9. Bhutan: 573
10. Philippines: 502
11. Nigeria: 431
12. Sierra Leon: 424
13. Canada: 379
14. Pakistan: 375
15. Jordan: 358
16. Nepal: 352
17. Senegal: 350
18. Morocco: 330
19. Burma: 328
20. South Korea: 320
21. Dominican Republic: 306
21. Mauritania: 300
22. Guinea: 291
23. United Kingdom: 280
24. Cameroon: 277
25. Bangladesh: 262
26. Vietnam: 255
27. Liberia: 233
28. Eritrea: 232
29. Egypt: 229
30. Russia: 211
31. Iran: 207
32. Japan: 184
33. Ukraine: 161
34. Algeria: 153

The top of the list didn’t change significantly in the most recent 5 years as far as the order goes. New countries seemed to pop up out of nowhere, like Bhutan and Nepal, and more nations had at least 150 immigrants than the earlier period.

Finally, let’s look at the top immigrant origins for the entire 10-year period. For all nations that provided at least 300 immigrants.
1. Somalia: 7,320
2. India: 4,347
3. Ghana: 3,570
4. China: 2,688
5. Ethiopia: 2,302
6. Kenya: 1,952
7. Mexico: 1,178
8. Philippines: 936
9. Sierra Leon: 873
10. Nigeria: 831
11. Iraq: 790
12. Canada: 768
13. South Korea: 675
14. Pakistan: 662
15. Jordan: 642
16. Mauritania: 637
17. Morocco: 628
18. United Kingdom: 627
19. Vietnam: 602
20. Bhutan: 573
21. Senegal: 564
22. Liberia: 537
23. Russia: 524
24. Bangladesh: 483
25. Dominican Republic: 482
26. Guinea: 482
27. Egypt: 474
28. Ukraine: 467
29. Cameroon: 419
30. Nepal: 388
31. Japan: 382
32. Iran: 381
33. Eritrea: 365
34. Burma: 349
35. Taiwan: 331
36. Peru: 305
37. Colombia: 304

Do these immigration stats surprise you?