The state of Ohio has the three C's: Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. Despite the popularity of these three cities, and other cities like Akron, Dayton & Toledo, home prices are very reasonable, and median incomes do a good job of paying for real estate. Some areas are still struggling with the mortgage crisis more than a decade later, however, and foreclosures remain a problem.
While the trend across the state has been fairly stable, Cincinnati has been at the top of the growth spectrum. A city that was once meant to compete with Chicago as the economic capital of the Midwest, the city has flung off its Jerry Springer days and made a significant push for re-gentrification. By growing its tax base, and trying to become a technology leader, especially through the efforts of local hospitals and medical schools to be at the forefront of children’s medicine, the city has made some progress.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the industrial production capacity in Cleveland that has become less relevant has been slow to be replaced. While Cleveland is the largest of the three cities, part of the reason for the more stable population, the negative pressure caused by the manufacturing void has had an impact of that city’s recent-term growth.
While every state has interesting details, Ohio is one of the few states with three separate cities which all qualify as large within the context of that state’s size. With the Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati metropolitan areas all being of size, there are interesting dynamics within Ohio as residents may move from one city to another, without crossing state lines. As different industries choose to locate primarily in one city or another, the growth rates of these locations can fluctuate rapidly. Despite this apparent diversity, Ohio tends to be a fairly homogeneous population and - outside of Cleveland - real estate prices tend to move roughly in tandem. General price levels have remained consistent with national trends, but average prices are at the low end of the spectrum. Available mortgages as well as foreclosure procedures are standard.
Ohio falls near the bottom of the average home price list, with Indiana. The average Ohio home price is $154,900. Outside of the big cities prices are even lower. The countervailing force is that the population of Ohio tends to be concentrated near these cities. As way of placing these figures into perspective, the recent average home values of $304,300 in New York and $507,700 in California. This means that the average home value in the two least expensive states in the country is less than half of what it is in the two most expensive.
The Ohio Association of Realtors reports an average sales price in the Buckeye State to be roughly $178,000. This figure includes both new and existing residential single-family homes and condos.
The demographics website NeighborhoodScout estimates the median home value in Ohio to be roughly $143,000, with the majority of these properties being single-family dwellings; and most of these are 3-bedroom units. The website also sees significant increases in real estate prices in the state, with the average annual increase at roughly 6%.
The real estate website Trulia displays a heat map of property prices throughout the United States. Low values are shown in dark green, while high values are displayed in dark red. The Buckeye State is mostly light green with a few areas in dark green. The three biggest cities, Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, don't have much red or even orange, which is pretty rare for large metro areas. They do have a few pockets of yellow, however.
Data from the National Association of Realtors reveals how affordable the Buckeye State really is. The group calculates the median home price across the country to be close to $260,000. Thus, Ohio is significantly below the national average.
Other real estate analysts have calculated home values in Ohio to average around $130,000. This figure has been increasing for the past several years at approximately 6% and is expected to increase going forward, although at a slower pace. While the typical home value is very low in the state, the latest market research also points to an unhealthy property environment, based on the number of foreclosures, negative home equity, and delinquency rates.
Recent surveys from the Ohio Association of Realtors reveals moderate confidence in the state's property market. The Current Market Index was recently calculated to be 82. This figure shows a strong real estate market in Ohio currently. Expectations for the near future, however, were judged to be more tempered. Most respondents to the group's survey also saw a rise in home prices, and a quarter saw increases above 5%.
The property analyst RealtyTrac shows a foreclosure rate in the Buckeye State of 1 house out of every 1,129. This is significantly worse than the national average of 1 for every 1,758 residential properties.
Like many states in the Union, Ohio saw significant fallout from the Great Recession of 2007. The mortgage crisis caused home values to drop 14% to a low in early 2012. From there, prices have steadily increased without any interruption. Ohio property values were back to pre-Recession levels by late 2016. Market analysts expect this rise in prices to continue, although Trulia estimates that only a minority of homes in the Buckeye State have recovered to pre-Recession levels.
Cleveland, one of the state's major cities, didn't fare as well as other regions. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Cleveland Home Price Index, home values began declining in March of 2006 and didn't bottom out until six years later. This resulted in a total 21% drop. More than a decade after the real estate crisis burst onto the scene, Cleveland still has not fully recovered. Data from S&P and Case-Shiller show the city's real estate prices are 7% below pre-crisis levels.
According to NBC News, the state of Ohio had some of the highest mortgage delinquencies during the Great Recession. It also had very high foreclosure rates. The Buckeye State suffered because it had low demand for housing at the time combined with a shaky manufacturing base and insufficient population growth.
The Mortgage Bankers Association also notes that Ohio had above-average unemployment during the housing fiasco. More than 200,000 jobs were lost in the Buckeye State between 2001 and 2007. The home loan group also notes that Cuyahoga County, which includes the Cleveland area, had 30% of subprime mortgages either delinquent or in foreclosure.
Despite the Buckeye State's poor performance during the housing crisis, there are many positive signs in recent years that point to a more robust property space. Median list prices continue to climb for condos and single-family homes of all sizes. Foreclosure rates have also been dropping since 2009.
While the property market has turned back up, home ownership has not. The rate of homeownership across the state was 67.4% in 1994 and jumped to a high of 73.3% in 2005. The housing bubble and subsequent recession that ensued has driven ownership rates below their 1994 bottom to 66.1% in 2016.
|OH Rank||US Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △|
|1||28||Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area||2,165,139||2,114,580||50,559||2.39%|
|7||101||Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metro Area||544,746||565,773||-21,027||-3.72%|
|9||148||Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metro Area||359,588||364,908||-5,320||-1.46%|
|10||295||Wheeling, WV-OH Metro Area||142,982||147,950||-4,968||-3.36%|
|13||339||Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metro Area||119,271||124,454||-5,183||-4.16%|
|30||546||Point Pleasant, WV-OH Micro Area||56,840||58,258||-1,418||-2.43%|
|46||828||Washington Court House||28,676||29,030||-354||-1.22%|
The fastest growing area in the Buckeye State is the Columbus metro area. The region has experienced an annual population increase of 9%, according to the Census Bureau. It is able to accomplish this largely because of its strong and robust economy, which provides jobs in many sectors.
Some of the cheapest housing prices can be found in Mansfield. Located in between Cleveland and Columbus along I-71, the city is a county seat, which is a major employer. Other employers include a local hospital, Kroger, and CenturyLink.
The Ohio Association of Realtors estimates the average sales price of new and existing condos and single-family homes is $114,000. With a median household income from the Census Bureau of $33,000, we arrive at a ratio of 3.5, which is pretty good.
Cincinnati lies in the southwest portion of the state. As the third largest city, it boasts a population of roughly 300,000. USA Today estimated in 2015 that the metro area has the fastest growing economy in the Midwest. This economic growth is based on business and professional services, which include engineering, advertising, and accounting. Baseball fans can watch Reds games while football fans can watch Bengals games.
Data from the Ohio Association of Realtors pinpoints Cincinnati's average sales price to be roughly $203,000, a good figure for such an active economy. With a median household income of $34,000, we arrive at a price-to-income ratio of 5.97, which is fairly high.
The largest city in Ohio is Columbus, which is also a county seat and the state's capital. Obviously there is a large government sector in the area's economy. Corporations that are headquartered in the city include American Electric Power and Big Lots. The local economy also has significant defense, aviation, and health care sectors. The population of the city is close to 900,000. The metro area includes ten counties, and has more than two million people.
According to Columbus Realtors, a local property group, the median sales price in the city is $185,000, with an average price of $218,000. On a square-foot basis, the average price is $118. This is lower than the national median list per-square-foot price of $139. The U.S. Census Bureau reports a median household income in Columbus of roughly $46,000. Judged against the median sales price, we see a price-to-income ratio of 4.0.
Cleveland has shrank drastically from its glory days, with an estimated population in 2016 of 385,809 being less than half of the 1950 population of 914,808. Numerous corporations are headquartered in the local economy including Applied Industrial Technologies, NACCO Industries, Sherwin-Williams Company and KeyCorp. The town is known for its die-hard sports fans & has professional baseball, football & basketball teams in the Indians, Browns & Cavaliers. The city had a long championship drought until the Cavs won the 2015-2016 NBA championship in a 7-game series. The Cleveland Clinic is a highly reputed hospital.
Local real estate is still well below the housing bubble peak with the median home valued at $59,400 & the median price of homes listed for sale at $72,316. Real estate in the broader metro area sells at a significant premium to the city, with the price per square foot reaching $99 compared against $59 in the city.
As of July 1, 2016 the state of Ohio has an estimated population of 11,614,373 across 40,860.69 mi² yielding a population density of 284.24 people per mi² across the state.
The following table highlights the July 1, 2016 populations of cities, villages & Census Designated Places (CDP) with over 5,000 residents based on United States Census Bureau estimates. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016, the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.
All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.
|Rank||Geography||County||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △||Land mi²||Pop Den mi²|
|1||Columbus||Franklin, Fairfield & Delaware||860,090||787,033||73,057||9.28%||217.17||3,960.45|
|9||Youngstown||Manoning & Trumbull||64,312||66,982||-2,670||-3.99%||33.96||1,893.76|
|13||Kettering||Montgomery & Greene||55,306||56,163||-857||-1.53%||18.68||2,960.71|
|18||Middletown||Butler & Warren||48,813||48,694||119||0.24%||26.18||1,864.51|
|23||Dublin||Franklin, Delaware & Union||45,568||41,751||3,817||9.14%||24.44||1,864.48|
|26||Fairfield||Butler & Hamilton||42,617||42,510||107||0.25%||20.94||2,035.20|
|31||Westerville||Franklin & Delaware||38,985||36,120||2,865||7.93%||12.47||3,126.30|
|33||Huber Heights||Montgomery, Miami & Greene||38,019||38,101||-82||-0.22%||22.27||1,707.18|
|34||Reynoldsburg||Franklin, Licking & Fairfield||37,449||35,893||1,556||4.34%||11.16||3,355.65|
|64||Centerville||Montgomery & Greene||23,817||23,999||-182||-0.76%||10.78||2,209.37|
|74||Alliance||Stark & Mahoning||21,900||22,322||-422||-1.89%||8.92||2,455.16|
|85||Pickerington||Fairfield & Franklin||20,069||18,291||1,778||9.72%||9.74||2,060.47|
|White Oak CDP||Hamilton||18,664||19,167||-503||-2.62%||6.17||3,024.96|
|99||Springboro||Warren & Montgomery||18,452||17,409||1,043||5.99%||9.36||1,971.37|
|104||Tallmadge||Summit & Portage||17,534||17,537||-3||-0.02%||14||1,252.43|
|121||Washington Court House||Fayette||14,144||14,192||-48||-0.34%||8.74||1,618.31|
|125||Sharonville||Hamilton & Butler||13,761||13,560||201||1.48%||9.83||1,399.90|
|130||Monroe||Butler & Warren||13,473||12,442||1,031||8.29%||15.87||848.96|
|132||Fostoria||Seneca, Hancock & Wood||13,279||13,441||-162||-1.21%||7.54||1,761.14|
|142||Loveland||Hamilton, Clermont & Warren||12,732||12,081||651||5.39%||4.93||2,582.56|
|Monfort Heights CDP||Hamilton||12,454||11,948||506||4.24%||5.91||2,107.28|
|149||Norton||Summit & Wayne||12,011||12,085||-74||-0.61%||20.16||595.78|
|150||Salem||Columbiana & Manoning||11,947||12,303||-356||-2.89%||6.42||1,860.90|
|164||Van Wert||Van Wert||10,728||10,846||-118||-1.09%||7.32||1,465.57|
|170||Vermilion||Lorain & Erie||10,409||10,594||-185||-1.75%||10.66||976.45|
|171||New Albany||Franklin & Licking||10,360||7,724||2,636||34.13%||11.56||896.19|
|176||Galion||Crawford, Morrow & Richaland||10,143||10,512||-369||-3.51%||7.61||1,332.85|
|Lincoln Village CDP||Franklin||9,417||9,032||385||4.26%||1.84||5,117.93|
|182||North College Hill||Hamilton||9,322||9,397||-75||-0.80%||1.83||5,093.99|
|North Madison CDP||Lake||8,961||8,547||414||4.84%||3.91||2,291.82|
|Blacklick Estates CDP||Franklin||8,960||8,682||278||3.20%||1.89||4,740.74|
|Beckett Ridge CDP||Butler||8,825||9,187||-362||-3.94%||4.8||1,838.54|
|Perry Heights CDP||Stark||8,553||8,441||112||1.33%||2.86||2,990.56|
|198||Bellevue||Sandusky, Huron & Erie||7,973||8,202||-229||-2.79%||6.14||1,298.53|
|200||Canal Winchester||Franklin & Fairfield||7,905||7,101||804||11.32%||7.47||1,058.23|
|Dry Run CDP||Hamilton||7,887||7,281||606||8.32%||4.67||1,688.87|
|Portage Lakes CDP||Summit||7,038||6,968||70||1.00%||3.95||1,781.77|
|210||Delphos||Allen & Van Wert||6,995||7,101||-106||-1.49%||3.44||2,033.43|
|212||Milford||Clermont & Hamilton||6,906||6,709||197||2.94%||3.73||1,851.47|
|Howland Center CDP||Trumbull||6,812||6,351||461||7.26%||4.04||1,686.14|
|216||Union||Montgomery & Miami||6,606||6,419||187||2.91%||7.05||937.02|
|217||Rittman||Wayne & Medina||6,593||6,491||102||1.57%||6.43||1,025.35|
|Champion Heights CDP||Trumbull||6,494||6,498||-4||-0.06%||8.37||775.87|
|224||Columbiana||Columbiana & Manoning||6,257||6,384||-127||-1.99%||6||1,042.83|
|Fort Shawnee CDP||Allen||6,143||3,726||2,417||64.87%||7.21||852.01|
|234||The Village of Indian Hill||Hamilton||5,823||5,785||38||0.66%||18.55||313.91|
|Apple Valley CDP||Knox||5,466||5,058||408||8.07%||6.01||909.48|
|246||Carlisle||Warren & Montgomery||5,329||4,915||414||8.42%||3.53||1,509.63|
|Delhi Hills CDP||Hamilton||5,172||5,259||-87||-1.65%||1.49||3,471.14|
|Miami Heights CDP||Hamilton||5,154||4,731||423||8.94%||3.5||1,472.57|
|New Burlington CDP||Hamilton||4,881||5,069||-188||-3.71%||3.07||1,589.90|
|Turpin Hills CDP||Hamilton||4,741||5,099||-358||-7.02%||2.98||1,590.94|
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.
A variety of home loans are available in the Buckeye State. Fixed-rate loans are very common. These mortgages offer an APR that does not change during the lifetime of the loan (that's why it's called fixed). There are also adjustable-rate mortgages—called ARM's—which do have interest rates that can fluctuate. Typically, the APR stays the same for the first few years of the mortgage's life, such as 3, 5, 7, or 10 years; then the interest rate can change, either up or down, once per year or sometimes more frequently. These products usually have rate caps to prevent the monthly home payments from increasing too much.
The most commonly used mortgage in Ohio is the 30-year home loan. Using this financial vehicle produces the lowest possible monthly payment because the loan's balance is spread across a longer term. Shorter terms are available, such as the less common 15-year mortgage. This loan has a lower APR, but monthly payments will be higher because the loan is paid back in a shorter period of time.
To qualify for a 30 year fixed loan, one must have a credit score in good standing and have solid employment history. Mortgage underwriters prefer debt-to-income ratios to be below 40%, but other factors are considered on the loan application.
The mortgage lenders that offer these loans typically want a down paymen of at least 20%, though as of 2016 only about 35% of homebuyers who use financing put that much money down. Loans with smaller down payments will have fees that increase as the down payment decreases. Paying less than 20% upfront will require monthly private mortgage insurance premiums, which obviously will increase the cost of home ownership. On top of the PMI, banks also frequently charge higher interest rates for loans that have down payments under 20%.
The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment. This mortgage is a good way to avoid the standard 20% down payment, which is required by most private banks.
As of 2020 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $510,400, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in HERA high-cost areas where median home values are higher. With the state of Ohio having below average median home prices, the $510,400 ceiling apply statewide for single unit homes. Dual unit homes have a limit of $653,550, triple unit homes have a limit of $789,950 & quadruple unit homes have a limit of $981,700.
Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, which varies based on credit market conditions.
If you don't want to put 20% down and don't want to pay private mortgage insurance, you should check out the Veteran Administration's home loan program. You'll have to be a former member of the military for this, but if you qualify, you can get a mortgage with 0% down and no mortgage insurance premiums. The VA does charge a funding fee, however, which ranges from 1.25% to 3.3%.
The Federal Housing Administration also offers mortgages. These loans require just 3.5% down with a 580 credit score, a fabulous deal. Private mortgage insurance is required here, however.
USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.
The Buckeye State offers a variety of housing assistance programs. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency helps first-time homebuyers find affordable properties. There are also services for renters and senior citizens. During the Great Recession, the Buckeye State began Save the Dream Ohio, a foreclosure prevention program. It still is in operation today.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically cover financial damages from most natural disasters other than earthquakes and flooding.
Most the state has a very low earthquake risk, with the risk only rising to low in Geauga county.
The state has a very low risk of wildfires.
Much of the state of Ohio has a substantial flooding risk. Here are the counties where the risk of flooding is above very low.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding.
Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.
The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don't incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government's costs in the next disaster.
Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult or very expensive to insure.
Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.
Most of the state has a very low to low tornado risk. The northern portion of the state is considered to have a moderate tornado risk across the following counties: Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert & Wood.
A basic homeowners policy should cover financial damages from tornadoes.
Hail damage is common across the state, with most of the state having a low to moderate risk of damage from hail. This risk rises to high across the following counties: Hamilton, Portage, Summit.
Damage from hail is typically covered by home insurance policies.
Properties in Ohio are appraised and assessed at the county level once every six years. Each county has its own method, so assessed values can vary quite a bit. The demographics website SmartAsset estimates Ohio's effective real estate tax rate for residential homes to be roughly 1.5%. This places the state above the national average, but lower than some of its neighboring states. Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, has the state's highest effective rate at 2.23%. Lawrence County, a small region in the south, has the lowest rate at 0.87%.
The average property tax payment across the state was $2,616 in 2016, with that payment rising to $3,636 in Columbus. The national average property tax rate is 1.24% for a cost of $3,313 per year.
Foreclosures in the Buckeye State follow the judicial protocol, meaning that they take place within the state's court system. Under a nonjudicial system, which some states use, the foreclosure process bypasses the county courthouse.
In Ohio, missing three consecutive mortgage payments will result in the lender filing a lawsuit in county court. There are some methods available to avoid a default judgment, such as mediation. If the judge rules on behalf of the plaintiff, the local sheriff's office schedules an auction for the home.
Mortgages in the Buckeye State can be either recourse or nonrecourse. Under the recourse model, lenders can pursue borrowers for any outstanding mortgage balance that a home auction doesn't completely cover. This legal right includes the ability to seize bank accounts and other personal assets borrowers own. Under a nonrecourse format, a mortgage underwriter can only pursue the collateral that is stated in the loan. Typically, this will be the home itself. The loan agreement should state whether a mortgage is recourse or nonrecourse.
What follows are some of the most important rules and procedures. This is in no way a comprehensive list, and those facing foreclosure are encouraged to consult an expert.
As in all states, the right of borrowers are lenders are considered to protect both and ensure the orderly operation of the system.
Ohio is a community property state. This means that all salaries, properties, and debts incurred by a couple after marriage belong to both spouses. Furthermore, the VA and FHA will run credit reports on both spouses, even if just one spouse's name will be on the mortgage. However, neither agency will use a non-borrowing spouse's credit score. If the two spouses apply together, however, both credit scores will be considered.
Debts from a non-borrowing spouse must also be considered on a loan application in the state of Ohio. One way around this policy is to secure a home loan through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae because neither agency will consider a non-borrowing spouse's credit history.
The Buckeye State has below average home prices, which is a major advantage of course. While the state overall has recovered from the housing crisis of 2007, some areas are still trying to get back to pre-Recession levels. Most regions of the state have good price-to-income levels, which means Ohio is affordable for many buyers. For more information on the state's property market, check out the following links:
US 10-year Treasury rates have recently fallen to all-time record lows due to the spread of coronavirus driving a risk off sentiment, with other financial rates falling in tandem. Homeowners who buy or refinance at today's low rates may benefit from recent rate volatility.
Are you paying too much for your mortgage?
Check your refinance options with a trusted Ashburn lender.
Answer a few questions below and connect with a lender who can help you refinance and save today!