Cincinnati Real Estate Market Review

Cincinnati Real Estate Market Review

The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky.

The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky.

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Cincinnati Real Estate Market Review

Guest Author:  Paul Gilbert

Forbes cited Cincinnati as being one of the three hottest Ohio property markets in late 2020, with the ranking being based upon several performance metrics, such as median list and sales prices, sales-to-list ratio, and the number of days on the market.

Since then, the real estate market in Cincinnati has only gone from strength to strength.

According to recent data, typical home values in Cincinnati are currently sitting at an average of $205,762 for June 2021 – an increase of 18.8% year-on-year. Home prices in Cincinnati have also risen by over 60% in the past five years.

Based on market reports, the median sales price of residential property in Cincinnati is currently $240,000 – a year-on-year increase of 18.9%. The number of homes sold in Cincinnati has also grown by just over 15% in the past year.

The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky.

The Cincinnati skyline and Ohio River, seen from Covington, Kentucky.

It isn’t just the home prices that are soaring in Cincinnati this year. Average rents around Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky are all following them up, with some renters having no choice but to move.

Average rent prices in Cincinnati have recently climbed beyond $1,000 a month, currently sitting at $1,080 monthly – a 6% increase when compared to the previous year.

The average size for an apartment in Cincinnati, OH is currently 869 square feet, but this does vary significantly depending upon the type of unit, with both luxury and cheap alternatives available for houses and apartments alike.

The most affordable areas to rent in Cincinnati are Sayler Park (currently averaging $652 per month), and College Hill ($674 per month), while the most expensive rental areas are in the neighborhoods of Pendleton ($1,664/month), Over-The-Rhine ($1,664/month), and Mount Auburn ($1,686/month).

According to a report by Yardi Matrix, the biggest reasons for the rent increases are rising management costs and maintenance overheads, high demands outweighing inventory supply, and landlords being hit hard by property tax hikes.

Options for struggling tenants

Stories are rife of tenants being stung with unreasonable rent hikes, many of which are beyond the realms of reasonable increases given the locational demographics, age, and condition of the buildings.

The good news is that, whilst you are under a lease, your landlord cannot raise your rent. That said, once your lease is up, they can increase it within just 30 days of notifying you. Furthermore, there is currently no rent control in the area, meaning that technically, landlords can increase rents as much as they wish to.

The best way to handle a rent-hike that causes you financial hardship is to discuss it calmly and respectfully with your landlord, and see if there is any room for negotiation. While it may be relatively easy to replace you in this current market, if they feel that you are a reasonable and responsible tenant, they may still prefer to keep you on and avoid the cost and stress involved in finding a new one.

It is also recommended to be cautious when considering a month-to-month lease. While they may offer you an attractive level of flexibility, they do not protect you from sudden rent rises during such volatile economic periods.

Eviction prevention in the works

Greg Landsman, Cincinnati City Councilman, has been pushing for the city to do more to prevent evictions on the basis of tenants being unable to afford their rent.

“We have put money into an eviction prevention fund that helps with rental assistance,” said Landsman. 

Landsman also went on to explain that the council is petitioning to have some of the federal American Rescue Plan funds awarded to struggling tenants in Cincinnati.

 “We are going to have to tackle this city-wide, with some rent support in some neighborhoods, with a big housing fund,” he continued, “or we will lose families to cheaper suburban areas.”

Final thoughts

There are currently few signs of the market cooling any time soon, although, as pandemic restrictions further ease and inventory builds back up, the market should begin to balance out. 

This may take some time, though, and experts predict that it will be at least early 2022 before buyers can look to regain any significant negotiating leverage.

About the Author: Paul Gilbert is an investment and mortgage advisor. He gives insider tips on real estate and he breaks it down based on your interests!