COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus housing market last quarter gained its most homes in 15 years, providing much needed inventory to a tight and booming market.

12,291 homes were added to the area housing market in July, August and September, according to industry group Columbus REALTORS. That’s a 13% increase over 2020 (10,903 homes added in Q3) and the most added in any quarter since 2006.

“Tight inventory over the past several years created a very competitive market causing some angst for many home buyers,” said Columbus REALTORS president Michael Jones in a release. “The increase in new listings has been a benefit and, as a result, we saw significant increases in homes that went into contract or have already sold.”

Home sales in September continued to rise. The average price increased 8.5% to $301,572, compared with September 2020, and the median price gained 12.5% to $269,900.

The most popular way to pay for a home is still conventional financing, which has accounted for 64% of central Ohio home sales in 2021. But one tactic hurting less affluent home buyers is cash sales.

1 in 5 local home sales this year have been made in cash, a 1.5% increase since 2016 but still 7.3% fewer than a decade ago.

“Cash sales have been credited as the reason many home buyers have been at a disadvantage in getting the winning contract,” Jones said. “However, this new data suggests that buyers seeking financing still dominate the lion’s share of home sales and can be successfully competitive.”

Last month, the typical time it took for a home to sell was 14 days, a full week less than last September (21 days). For all of 2021, the typical home has taken 16 days to sell, compared to 29 days from January-September 2020.

Central Ohio’s housing market includes all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties, plus parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.