COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus has been named one of the hottest housing markets in the nation, even as the number of home sales has fallen compared to last year, according to a new housing report.

Columbus Realtors’ Central Ohio Housing Report for February said there were 1,728 closed sales in central Ohio last month, marking an 11.5% drop from 1,953 sales in February 2022. Still, February’s sales mark a 14% increase from the number of homes sold in January.

“It’s a positive sign to see a jump in sales over January,” said Columbus Realtors President Patti Brown-Wright. “The number of homes that are under contract is not far off our numbers from 2022.” ranked Columbus the fifth-hottest housing market in the U.S. for February, based on property demand and the pace of the market. Manchester, New Hampshire, was first; Rochester, New York, was second; Hartford, Connecticut, was third, and Springfield, Massachusetts, was fourth.

Rounding out the top 20 hottest markets, Ohio led the way with four other metro areas in the ranking. Dayton was 11th, Akron was 12th, Canton-Massillon was 14th and Toledo was 18th.

The report shows the average sales price for a Columbus home in February was $315,808, increasing 6.5% from February 2022 at $296,489. In addition, the median sales price increased 12% from $250,000 to $280,000. However, there was only a 6.2% decrease in under-contract home sales when comparing last month to February 2022.

Inventory in central Ohio has remained consistent, with the current inventory of homes for sale sitting at around 2,315. The report said that marks a 50% increase over where the market stood in 2022.

Mortgage rates raised consistently throughout February, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage starting at 6.09% and ending at 6.65% at the end of the month.

“If there is one segment of the population that the higher rates have impacted, it’s potential sellers who are sitting on a much lower rate in their current home,” Brown-Wright said.

February’s report comes as a new website has launched explaining the mass reappraisal process currently underway in Franklin County, ahead of the release of new evaluations for every property in August.

The site displays an interactive timeline of the reappraisal process through December, including a survey link now open for residents to provide feedback regarding their neighborhood. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31 and ensures neighborhood data collected as part of the reappraisal is as accurate as possible.