Home shoppers looking for a foreclosure deal had better act fast. Foreclosures and other so-called "distressed" properties are dwindling in central Ohio, although they still remain more common than in the past.
Home shoppers looking for a foreclosure deal had better act fast.
Foreclosures and other so-called “distressed” properties are dwindling in central Ohio, although they still remain more common than in the past.
As of Dec. 31, about 15 percent of Columbus-area homes for sale were foreclosures, short sales or owned by a bank or the federal government, the Columbus Realtors trade association said.
That’s down from more than one out of four homes a year earlier, as an improving economy has allowed more homeowners to stay current on their mortgage.
Distressed homes also account for a shrinking portion of sales. For the last three months of the year, 24 percent of Columbus-area home sales were distressed, down from 31 percent a year earlier and nearly 50 percent a few years ago.
“Short sales and foreclosures have been declining in central Ohio for the last three years,” said Milt Lustnauer, president of the Columbus Realtors trade association, which tracks the data.
Not surprisingly, foreclosures, short sales and other such properties sell more quickly and for less money than conventional homes.
The median sales price of a distressed property during the fourth quarter was $62,056, compared with $163,000 for conventional homes. Distressed homes took an average of 58 days to sell; traditional properties took 74.
While distressed homes can be had at a bargain price, they are likely to need some attention, said Doug Davis, an agent with Clifford Realtors in Reynoldsburg who represents buyers.
“Foreclosures are less-prevalent than they were, they are harder to find, and they’re not of the same quality as they were before,” Davis said.
“Move-in ready homes are far fewer, maybe 10 to 25 percent of what they were a few years ago,” he added. “The majority need work.”
Even though distressed properties have declined in central Ohio, they continue to occupy far more than the traditional 5 percent of the market.
They also vary widely by community.
Columbus Realtors found that no distressed properties were sold during the fourth quarter in several communities, including Bexley, Grandview Heights, Granville, New Albany and Sunbury.
On the other hand, distressed properties accounted for at least 40 percent of all sales in Minerva Park and Whitehall and the Groveport Madison, Hamilton and Northridge school districts.