Real estate figures unclear about housing boom

The Columbus Board of Realtors says more than 27,000 homes were sold in Central Ohio last year, almost 2,000 more than 2004. While the market is still growing, the growth has slowed after 7 and 9 percent increases in recent years. Board of Realtors president Chris Reese says the slowed growth isn’t an indicator of a burst housing bubble because Central Ohio is a stable market.

“With all the cities listed from where the experts are saying there might be a housing boom, Columbus ranks second from the bottom, and I think it’s becuase we have such great corporations and headquarters of great industries,” Reese says.

But OSU real estate chair Anthony Sanders calls the market stagnet, and says Ohio will never have growth experienced in areas such as Arizona and the Carolinas. He predicts even slower growth in Central Ohio this year, and says that will be the trend for years to come.

“We’re in kind of a stable mode,” Sanders says. “Unless we sort of change the paradigm of how we grow, I don’t invision very rapid growth at all ever to occur here again. It will just be stable.”

The national real estate figures show an increase in home sales last year, while sales in December fell 5.1 percent.