Columbia Home Prices Increase, Southeast Growing Fast

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COLUMBIA - Recently, growth in downtown Columbia has made the headlines as more and more apartment complexes join the city's skyline. But, the town is growing outside of the district as well.

Linda and Dave Janish are a part of that growth. The couple moved to Columbia from Wichita and spent a year searching for the perfect house. They found it in the Old Hawthorne neighborhood, on what realtors call the southeast side of town.

"It felt like we were living in the country with easy access to the city. It's very close to 63, which you can get any place you want to in Columbia fairly quickly," Linda said.

The Janishs aren't the only ones hoping to unload moving trucks on that side of town. While brand-new houses line many of the streets in the Old Hawthorne development off of Route WW, there are plenty of empty lots primed for more construction as the neighborhood continues to grow. In the past ten years, the southeast side of Columbia has seen the largest increase in growth.

According to the Columbia Board of Realtors, the number of new listings has increased by nearly 70 percent between 2004 and 2013. This, while other areas of Columbia have only grown by 8 percent or less, some not at all.

New listings in Columbia. Percent change between 2004 & 2013

Realtor for Crane & Crane and director of the Columbia Board of Realtors, Jessica Kempf, said the recent interest in living in southeast CoMo is because it's brand-new territory.

"There's a lot of land out here that hasn't been developed and you know there's a lot of room to grow on the east side of town, so I think it's going to be the next hot spot," Kempf said.

The reigning hot spot? The southwest side. If you take a look at the raw numbers from 2013, and not the percent difference over the past ten years, the southwest side dominates in both the number of homes sold and the amount of new listings in 2013.

Number of New Listings Around Columbia in 2013

"There's quite a few of subdivisions still going in the southwest, which is pretty amazing, because you're like are they ever going to run out of room, I mean eventually they're going to run into the Missouri river," Kempf said.

Columbia's City Planner Steve MacIntyre said this continuous growth is a good thing.

"Growth for the city as a whole right now, it's been picking back up. We do have a lot of new exciting growth opportunities. Housing is back up, it's an exciting time," he said.

It's especially exciting for some as price tags on houses are on their way up too. In the past ten years, all areas of town have seen at least a five percent increase in selling price, but home prices in the southeast and central Columbia rose the most, more than the southwest.

Median Sale Price Difference Between 2004 & 2013

Kempf said the prices went up in the central city thanks to more conveniences nearby like Walgreens and Lucky's and people renovating older homes. Overall, she said it's good to see home sales increasing citywide.

"It benefits everybody that lives here, it generates that tax revenue, it generates school revenue so it makes everything better. And I don't think you can just stay stagnate in Columbia, you have to either grow or you're going to decline, there's no way to just stay even keel, so we choose to grow," Kempf said.

And the Janishs are excited to be a part of that growth, as they unpack and establish new roots in Columbia.

"We both felt once we got to Columbia that it felt right and we just both got the feeling that this is where we wanted to spend our time," Janish said.

Below, see a look at the difference in median sale prices, number of listings and sold homes in all the different areas of Columbia. Source: Columbia Board of Realtors