Central Ohio home sales again outpaced last year for the fifth consecutive year, with Realtors reporting a record 27,493 residential homes sold in 2005, according to the Columbus Board of Realtors.

This represents an increase of 3.1 percent from the 26,660-plus homes sold in 2004, the board reported.

The average sale price of $177,978 in 2005 showed a 4.4 percent increase over 2004 prices. When looking at the last five years, homes have appreciated 18.5 percent.

“That means a home purchased in 2000 for $150,000 is now worth $183,796,” said CBR’s 2006 President Chris Reese. “Keep in mind this is an average and everyone’s home will not appreciate at the same rate. Still, the argument that real estate is an excellent investment is evidenced by such a strong and continuous increase in value.”

Noteworthy in 2005 was the hefty increase in inventory — higher than any other year on record. There were approximately 13,995 residential listings on the market at the end of 2005 — over 20 percent more listed homes than at the end of 2004. Of these, 11,958 were single-family homes (18.4 percent higher than a year ago) and 2,037 were condos (30.5 more than one year ago), many of which were newly constructed.

According to Reese, “With this level of inventory, it’s a buyer’ market right now. Mortgage interest rates, although predicted to rise, are still under 6 percent. If you’re looking to buy a home, don’t wait – now’s the time!”

The Columbus Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison and Morrow counties, and some of Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion and Pickaway counties.

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