South Bend Housing Market Improves

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There is a lot of discussion about our housing market among many great real estate agents like Cressy and Everett Broker Realtor Jennifer Lillie since the area housing market continues to see growth. It is said that the housing market was stronger last year than the two prior years.

The chief executive officer of the Greater South Bend-Mishawaka Association of Realtors, Mr. Myron Larimer said 2012 was a buyer’s market since people were in better economic shape than in 2010 and 2011, and amazingly low interest rates motivated them to buy. He expects the trend to continue in 2013 and says, “I think people have more confidence in the economy, and as employment picks up people will be more willing to make bigger purchases, including home purchases”.

Another trend has also been seen in January, the St. Joseph County real estate market stayed somewhat flat compared with the same month in 2012.  A 3.5 percent reduction in home sale and a decrease in the average sales price by more than 1 percent to $91,836 was reported.

According to the Indiana Association of Realtors, three nearby counties are seeing improvements in January as compared with the same month of previous year. According to an estimate, Kosciusko County saw about 97 percent increase in home sales, Marshal County saw about 29 percent increase and LaPorte County saw about 28 percent increase in overall home sales.

The median price dropped in all three counties, like the majority of St. Joseph County, with a fall in prices to 20 percent in Kosciusko. Larimer of the Greater South Bend Mishawaka organization also said that it is tough to say why the prices drop in any given month. He said that it depends on whether it is a buyer or seller’s market and the tipping month is around a six-month inventory. We are still in the 71/2-month range. Therefore, that will push prices down a bit.

Larimer further explained that in 2010, St. Joseph County had an 11-month inventory. It dropped to nine months in 2011 and to seven in 2012. Inventory plays a significant role in the price of homes within the market. When you reduce the inventory, it shifts to more of a seller’s market. It is more competitive and people are willing to spend more money.

The impact of a lower inventory and higher demand is currently being experienced by Elkhart County. President of the Elkhart County of Realtors said that in 2008, there were about 1,900 homes listed countywide, but currently only 850 to 900 homes are listed. He further explained that people are feeling more secure about their jobs and the population growth has remained about 3 percent and now there is not a lot of construction taking place.

As the public demand rises, it makes the home prices go up. Few families might adopt cohabitation for a time in order to save some cash but as their finances grow, they move away from cohabitation. Many realtors like South Bend Realtor Jennifer Lillie agree with this perspective.

According to a report of Indiana Association of Realtors, Elkhart County’s closed home sales increased 13 percent and its median sales price increased more than 24 percent to $100,000 in January compared with the same month of 2012.

Larimer foresees the inventory continue to drop both in Indiana and in the neighborhood. Because of this happening, homebuilders will start picking up with new construction work, median prices will rise with time and supply and demand will balance up with each other. He also said that people might see their property values rise and that could influence their decision to sell or not sell and we are going to see that happening at different price points depending on individual local markets.

Area housing market growth is a good sign for home buyers and sellers.  Contact Cressy & Everett Broker Realtor Jennifer Lillie for all of your South Bend and Granger real estate needs.

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