The Week in Review #1

This series will be a quick rundown of the past week in Columbus, so they will be posted on Sundays.

First, in terms of development, we had a few updates.
-The Market Tower project at the North Market has apparently gotten a new design.
It’s gone from this-

To this-

The new design may actually be at least 40 stories instead of the originally-proposed 35. No official announcements on the height increase have been released, but I suspect we’ll be hearing something soon on this.

-The Gravity 2.0 project in Franklinton got its initial approvals from the neighborhood development commission, including approval on the 12-story tower, which has also gotten an updated rendering, seen below.

-Nationwide Childrens Hospital made national news for its ongoing investment in the Near South Side. Read that article here:

Outside of that, the big news this week has been with the weather, or the near-constant appearance of incredible sunrises and sunsets over the city. The pictures have been flooding social media since the end of last week. Take a look!



Columbus Area Housing Market- September

September continued one of the Columbus area’s longest positive streaks when it came to housing sales, although sales were down a bit from earlier this year. Overall, sales were up 13.1% and prices were up 4.2%.

For the housing report, I look at the 21 major areas of the Franklin County area (11 urban, 10 suburban). Here is what the September market looked like.

Top 10 September Sales Totals
1. Columbus: 820
2. Dublin: 72
3. Westerville: 59
4. Upper Arlington: 53
5. Grove City: 49
6. Hilliard: 49
7. Clintonville: 47
8. Gahanna: 45
9. Reynoldsburg: 34
10. Canal Winchester: 29

Top 10 September Sales Increases Over September 2012
1. Whitehall: +142.9%
2. Westerville: +96.7%
3. Obetz: +66.7%
4. Canal Winchester: +38.1%
5. Reynoldsburg: +36.0%
6. Pataskala: +35.7%
7. Grove City: +32.4%
8. Gahanna: +28.6%
9. New Albany: +28.6%
10. Minerva Park: +25.0%

Top 10 Total YTD Sales Through September
1. Columbus: 8,019
2. Dublin: 636
3. Upper Arlington: 588
4. Clintonville: 554
5. Westerville: 495
6. Grove City: 487
7. Hilliard: 460
8. Gahanna: 414
9. Reynoldsburg: 381
10. Pickerington: 254

Top 10 YTD Sales Increases Through over September 2012
1. Minerva Park: +47.6%
2. Whitehall: +45.9%
3. Hilliard: +36.1%
4. Pataskala: +33.1%
5. Westerville: +33.1%
6. Bexley: +32.4%
7. Gahanna: +31.8%
8. Reynoldsburg: +31.8%
9. Clintonville: +28.5%
10. German Village: +27.6%

Average Sales September 2013
Urban: 91.6
Suburban: 39.2
Urban without Columbus: 18.8

Average % Change September 2013 vs. September 2012
Urban: +10.6%
Suburban: +30.3%
Urban without Columbus: +10.5%

Average Sales YTD Through September
Urban: 923.2
Suburban: 370.1
Urban without Columbus: 213.6

Average % Change YTD vs. YTD 2012 (Through September)
Urban: +19.2
Suburban: +24.7%
Urban without Columbus: +18.5%

Top 10 Average Sales Price September 2013
1. New Albany: $512,564
2. Upper Arlington: $402,771
3. Dublin: $359,925
4. Bexley: $293,331
5. Downtown: $259,331
6. Grandview Heights: $244,433
7. German Village: $235,557
8. Worthington: $234,716
9. Hilliard: $220,823
10. Clintonville: $206,610

Top 10 Average Sales Price % Increases vs. September 2012
1. Whitehall: +99.3%
2. Obetz: +98.1%
3. Minerva Park: +51.3%
4. Upper Arlington: +20.6%
5. New Albany: +20.2%
6. Gahanna: +18.5%
7. Dublin: +13.5%
8. Hilliard: +10.5%
9. Pickerington: +10.2%
10. Reynoldsburg: +9.4%

Top 10 Average Sales Price YTD
1. New Albany: $543,445
2. Upper Arlington: $364,187
3. Bexley: $347,444
4. Dublin: $333,741
5. German Village: $302,753
6. Downtown: $281,729
7. Worthington: $246,663
8. Grandview Heights: $222,115
9. Hilliard: $219,302
10. Gahanna: $201,444

Top 10 Average YTD Sales Price % Change vs. YTD 2012
1. Whitehall: +23.2%
2. Minerva Park: +18.2%
3. Downtown: +13.5%
4. Upper Arlington: +13.3%
5. Gahanna: +12.9%
6. Reynoldsburg: +9.6%
7. New Albany: +9.4%
8. Canal Winchester: +6.6%
9. Bexley: +6.0%
10. Worthington: +5.7%

Average Price September 2013
Urban: $210,653
Suburban: $222,473
Urban without Columbus: $219,161

Average Price % Change vs. September 2012
Urban: +23.7%
Suburban: +7.7%
Urban without Columbus: +25.9%

Average Price YTD
Urban: $215,336
Suburban: $223,809
Urban without Columbus: $224,046

Average Price % Change YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +6.2%
Suburban: +5.2%
Urban without Columbus: +6.4%

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets September (based on # of Days listings sell)
1. Worthington: 26
2. Minerva Park: 29
3. Clintonville: 34
4. Obetz: 34
5. Upper Arlington: 34
6. Hilliard: 41
7. Westerville: 42
8. New Albany: 44
9. Pickerington: 45
10. Whitehall: 45

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets YTD
1. Worthington: 37
2. Upper Arlington: 45
3. Grandview Heights: 48
4. Clintonville: 52
5. Hilliard: 53
6. Westerville: 53
7. Bexley: 58
8. Gahanna: 58
9. Dublin: 61
10. Grove City: 61

Average # of Days before Sale, September 2013
Urban: 48.0
Suburban: 51.8
Urban without Columbus: 47.1

Average # of Days before Sale, YTD
Urban: 60.7
Suburban: 61.1
Urban without Columbus: 60.3

Top 10 Lowest Housing Supplies (based on # of months to sell all listings), September 2013
1. Worthington: 1.9
2. Upper Arlington: 2.3
3. Bexley: 2.4
4. Hilliard: 2.6
5. Westerville: 2.6
6. Clintonville: 2.7
7. Grandview Heights: 2.9
8. Gahanna: 3.2
9. Dublin: 3.4
10. Whitehall: 3.7

Average # of Months to Sell All Listings
Urban: 3.5
Suburban: 4.1
Urban without Columbus: 3.4

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales, September 2013 vs. September 2012
Urban: +23.7%
Suburban: +31.0%
Urban without Columbus: +24.7%

Average % Change of Condo Sales, September 2013 vs. September 2012
Urban: -23.5%
Suburban: +48.4%
Urban without Columbus: -25.3%

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +13.0%
Suburban: +24.7%
Urban without Columbus: +11.7%

Average % Change of Condo Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +35.8%
Suburban: +26.2%
Urban without Columbus: +36.7%

2008- Year of the Wind

January 8th-9th Severe Weather

Record warm temperatures in the upper 60s on the 7th-8th of January, 2008 gave way to storms and even a rare January Tornado Watch on the evening of the 8th. Winds had been gusty all during the day of the 8th, but reached their peak with the frontal passage storms. Rain and thunderstorms began moving into Ohio during the late afternoon and increased in intensity through the evening, prompting the NWS to issue a Tornado Watch just after 10pm. Although no tornadoes were reported anywhere in Ohio on the night of the 8th-9th, the storms brought with them rains of 1-2″ and winds of up to 70mph, causing many reports of minor structural damage and scattered power outages.

January 29th-30th Windstorm

The second, more intense wind event for January in Ohio came during the last few days of the month. A very strong low pressure moved north and west of Ohio as strong high pressure moved south into the Plains. The resulting gradient caused winds to increase. Winds were sustained between 30-35mph most of the 29th. When the front arrived during the evening hours, winds ramped up even more. Winds were sustained at 40-45 with gusts between 60-70mph. There was very little precipitation with this front. Damages were widespread.

On a personal note with this event, I witnessed several power poles bent over and large business signs blown out from the force of the January 29th-30th wind event.

Hurricane Ike and Ohio’s Worst Windstorm

On September 1st, 2008, a tropical depression formed in the central Atlantic Ocean. That same day, the depression strengthened enough to gain a name: Ike. No one in Ohio anticipitated that this storm, far out in the Atlantic, would cause the most widespread, destructive windstorm the state had ever seen.

Ike gradually became a hurricane and roared west and then southwest over Cuba before turning back to the northwest and into the Gulf of Mexico. He churned westward growing in size as he went. The windfield of the hurricane was gigantic. Hundreds of miles from the center, tropical storm force winds were pounding parts of the Gulf Coast, giving an indication of the wind and surge potential.

Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston, Texas early on Saturday, September 13th with maximum sustained winds of 110mph. After landfall, the system turned to the north and then to the northeast as it hooked up with a frontal boundary that was draped across the Midwest. The system became extratropical by the end of the day on the 13th and gradually accelerated to the north and east towards the Great Lakes.

Now, at this point, that would normally be the end of the story. A dying tropical system far inland tends to produce a lot of rain and flooding, but wind is not usually an issue. And indeed, parts of Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois saw major and disastrous flooding from a combination of the frontal boundary and the remains of Ike. However, a very unusual situation occurred.

Over the Gulf of Mexico and up through landfall, Ike was never quite able to translate upper level high winds down to the surface. The sustained reading of 110mph at landfall never seemed to actually materialize in reports on the ground, and the vast majority of the damage along the Texas coastline was due to significant storm surge brought in by the massive size of the storm. However, Ike’s inability to translate the highest winds to the surface was about to change.

Ike maintained a very low pressure of between 986 and 990 throughout the journey through the OV and Great Lakes, and as he transitioned from tropical to extratropical, the remains actually intensified and Ike retained a large amount of his original wind field, particularly on the eastern side.

No one forecasted this. The NWS, as late as Saturday evening, had forecast winds of 25mph in gusts for much of Ohio.

On the morning of Sunday, September 14th, 2008, the National Weather Service in Wilmington had issued a Wind Advisory for its forecast area calling for gusty winds of 20-30mph with gusts up to 50mph. However, things began to rapidly change. Kentucky was already getting rocked with high winds of over 50mph, and the winds seemed to intensify even more as the core began to move into Ohio through Cincinnati.

By late morning, winds in Cincinnati had reached a *sustained* speed of 54mph with gusts to hurricane force! These heavy winds began to ride up the I-71 corridor, reaching Wilmington by noon and Columbus by 2pm. For several hours, high winds pounded the area. Sustained winds over 50mph were common, and gusts of 70-80mph were widespread. The winds did not begin to die down until after 6pm, and by 8pm, the area had gone almost completely calm.

When the storm was over, over 1/10th of the entire state’s population was without power, including more than 55% of Columbus. Tens of thousands of trees had fallen, and debris of all kinds was everywhere. Power lines had been snapped, signs had been blown down, billboards had been destroyed, and thousands of homes had sustained structural damage. Power remained out for thousands for up to two weeks after the storm passed.

The story was the same up and down I-71 up through Cleveland, although damage there was less than that in central and southern parts of Ohio. The severe wind field was about 100 miles across and centered through the major cities on I-71. Insured losses from this storm totaled well over a billion dollars, and total damage likely exceeded two billion. This makes the Great Windstorm of 2008 one of the most damaging storms for Ohio of ANY kind in recorded history.