OHIO — Home buyers in Ohio continue to encounter surging prices practically across the entire state.

According to data released by Ohio Realtors on Thursday, the average sale price of a home in the first six months of 2021 was up 15.8% compared to the same time in 2020. The increase affected pricing in all of Ohio’s major metropolitan areas and in many more remote parts of Ohio. 

The Columbus metro continues to have the most expensive housing stock in the state, with the average home selling for $292,860 in the first six months of 2021, up 15.9% from last year. The Cincinnati metro, which had the largest year-over-year increase based on percentage, had an average home price of $276,572. 

The average sale price for a home in Ohio in the first six months of 2021 was $232,780, according to Ohio Realtors.

Although Ohio Realtors noted low inventory has been a factor in recent months, there have been more homes purchased in the first six months of 2021 than the first six months of last year. The number of sales is up 10% compared to last year. 

“Despite the persistent low inventory levels of homes being marketed for sale throughout Ohio, consumers are continuing to push the housing marketplace forward with brisk sales activity and rising prices as they take advantage of historic low interest rates,” said Ohio Realtors President Seth Task in a statement.

New federal housing data will be available on July 26. According to federal data for May 2021, the median home sale price throughout the U.S. was $374,400.

There are some signs that the housing market could begin to stabalize as white-collar Americans return to the office. The cost of lumber has tumbled in recent weeks, according to trading data. Also, federal moratoriums on foreclosures are starting to end. 

But even with increases in supply, demand continues to increase, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement. "Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic."

Yun predicts that housing prices will not come down as life returns to normal. 

“I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year," Yun said. "Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available."