The most expensive homes sold in central Ohio last year feature the usual perks: multi-car garages, home theaters, swimming pools, wine cellars, gorgeous water and golf-course settings, and master suites that dwarf normal homes.
And then there are the unusual perks: a bowling alley, an elevator, a 32-car heated garage, a party barn pool house and an indoor basketball court.
Luxury can be found around every corner in this year's Top 10, all of which sold for between $2 million and $3 million.
Buyers, on the other hand, can be more elusive. Real-estate agents who work in this stratosphere say the market is strong, but sellers continue to outnumber shoppers.
“Over $2 million is a very fickle market,” said Neil Mathias, a Coldwell Banker King Thompson agent who sold a 15,000-square-foot estate on Hoover Reservoir for $2.7 million last year. “You’ve got such small numbers of people looking in that price range.”
Consider that out of more than 31,000 homes sold last year in central Ohio, 12 sold for more than $2 million. (The list does not include new homes bought directly from builders.)
Sellers in this price range must be patient. The Top 10 homes were listed an average of 250 days before selling, more than seven times as long as the average for all central Ohio homes sold in 2017.
Likewise, the 10 homes fetched an average of 85 percent of their asking prices, compared with 97 percent for all homes.
Still, agents say interest in super-premium homes is rising.
“It’s definitely better now than it was four years ago,” said DeLena Ciamacco, a RE/MAX Connections agent who has long worked in luxury real estate. "We’re definitely seeing more homes selling for more than $1 million."
Last year, 130 central Ohio homes sold for more than $1 million, up from 102 and 105 in the two previous years, Mathias said.
This year’s Top 10 homes were found in the usual locations but reflected the move toward the city that is playing out across all price ranges. Four of the 10 homes were in Upper Arlington schools and two were in Bexley.
Upper Arlington in particular continues to be giddy with high-end sales. Mathias noted that last year, 30 Upper Arlington homes sold for above $1 million, twice as many as the previous year.
"A lot of people want the walkability, they like the proximity to the city or to Children's Hospital or Ohio State," said Alli Close, with Keller Williams Consultants.
She sold the most-expensive home last year in central Ohio, the $3 million former home of race-car driver Mike Coughlin.
While some well-known names pop up in this price range, such as Coughlin and basketball star Wally Szczerbiak, who once owned one of the homes on this year's list, many of the homes are bought by doctors and business executives who are not household names.
Nonetheless, such shoppers are on the rise, say agents.
"The number of buyers looking for luxury homes in Columbus has certainly increased during the past couple of years," said Kelly Cantwell, a Street Sotheby's International Realty agent who sold a $2.375 million home in Upper Arlington last year.
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