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New Honda plant could upend Fayette County housing market

Fayette county ohio court house
Onasill - Bill Badzo
Fayette County Courthouse

Honda's plan to hire 2,200 workers at its new EV battery plant in Fayette County could upend the already strained local housing market.

Ron Weade is a real estate broker, auctioneer and appraiser who has been in the business for nearly 40 years.

Like much like Columbus and the rest of the country right now, Weade said, Fayette County's housing market is characterized by low supply and big demand.

"We've already gotten pressure from the Columbus market because it was more affordable housing here, and people were already coming down from Columbus to purchase housing here. So that's put a strain on it," he said. "And then you put this plant coming in... we're not prepared for it."

Weade estimates Fayette County will need about 700 more housing units than it has now to keep pace with demand once the Honda plant is up and running.

He said the local housing market has traditionally been known as affordable, with the most saleable home price in Fayette County being between $200,000 and $275,000.

"And that can provide you a pretty decent house," Weade said. "You can get 2,500-3,000 square feet for that, which a lot of people in Dublin and Plain City and those type of things, they say 'Wow! We can't do that here.' Well, no, you can't but you have been able to do that in Fayette County."

But that could soon change. Weade anticipates the Honda plant's arrival will cause property values to rise, likely pricing many people out of the market.

"Fayette County has been kind of a bargain for a lot of people. And that's gonna change," he said.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.