Sellers are clearly in the driver’s seat this spring, moving homes to closing in record time at higher profits than last year. Yet home buyers have also been bolstered by several market conditions impacting Central Indiana, including the affordability of available housing and the relative stability of the housing market. In a nutshell, inventory is down, sales are up, and prices are up. F.C. Tucker’s Market Report provides data for the 15-county region that shows just where homes are moving, and for how much:
- Inventory is down.
Listings of single-family homes and condominiums are down 18.7 percent overall in Central Indiana compared with last year. There’s a three-month supply of existing home inventory, and the foreclosure inventory has all but disappeared. New home construction was on the rise in 2015, but did not achieve levels that would compensate for this shortage. Fewer homes on the market means prices have been going up for home buyers, who may hold off on purchasing a home until prices are more favorable.
- Sales Are Up.
Nevertheless, sales are up due to rising consumer confidence.
Even though it’s been a seller’s market, buyers have not been deterred, boosting sales in a majority of counties by 7.4 percent over last year. Some factors that may be influencing consumer confidence in Central Indiana are a decent jobs market and wages, affordability of available housing relative to other markets with a higher cost of living, and low market volatility leading to stability in housing prices.
- Prices Are Up.
Prices are also up, but may stabilize this year.
The average sales price of a single-family home or condominium rose by 9.5 percent over last year, with Boone and Hamilton counties cashing in on the highest average prices. But a rise in interest rates, expected by some economists, could reduce the demand for homes and motivate sellers to lower prices to meet buyers on their turf. Still, compared to most markets, an average home price of $184,170 is very attractive to buyers, and can work in the seller’s favor.
- Location, Location!
A lot of things make a place an ideal location to purchase a home, such as the value per square foot, the availability of mortgage lenders, the percentage of approved mortgage applications and the ratio of take-home pay to housing costs. Indianapolis has all of these factors at play, and has been named the fourth best city for first-time homebuyers in the country by SmartAsset. In the surrounding area, Putnam and Jennings counties saw significant growth in homes sold, with increases of 64 and 57 percent respectively.
- Need to Act Quickly, But Responsibly.
The need to act quickly, but a trend in acting responsibly.
With homes selling in 78 days on average, home buyers can’t afford to spend a lot of time contemplating this major life purchase, and may be prone to act quickly. At the same time, many buyers – particularly millennials paying down student loans and others who remember the 2007-2008 housing crash—are determined to have their financial bona fides in order before making a move.
- New Home Construction Has Leveled Off.
New home construction which was rising, has leveled off.
New home construction was on the rise for over a year, until February when it finally leveled off. Marion County was the exception, posting a 15 percent increase in single-family construction permits. That increase in new construction is good news for millennials and young professionals looking in the Circle City, many of whom seek affordable homes that are completely up-to-date and move-in ready.
- Weather Weirdness.
The February forsythia was more of a market factor than most people realized, particularly if you were already busy contemplating your lawncare and gardening plan. Due to a lack of winter, the 2017 home-selling season started about two months earlier than usual, leading to a strong housing market for spring and a positive outlook for the entire year.
- Keeping Expectations Realistic, but Positive.
May through August can account for 40 percent of the total home-selling volume in an average year. It’s important to remember not to be overly concerned about performance in the off months, or to read too much into the numbers in any given month or year, or to spend too much time comparing activity in the current year to the recent boom years of 2015-2016. All indicators say positive growth in housing sales is expected for 2017.
- Lead with your home’s most appealing attributes.
Don’t go it alone when building a new home. Your trusted real estate agent is your advocate through the new home construction process, and will help you navigate the process representing your interests, and yours alone. Some buyers are surprised by this statement, and by the fact that ‘going it alone’ will not save them money. Whether it’s helping you decide which upgrades or improvements will improve your home’s value, or walking you through contract negotiations and keeping everything on track, there is no better investment for the purchaser of a new home. At F.C. Tucker, we provide the expertise of our entire team to ensure our clients get the home of their dreams.
- Know Your Market Statistics.
Every local market statistic you need to know is on our website.
Our MarketWatch reports provide the most comprehensive data for the Central Indiana 15-county region, including home sales and trends, the number of active listings, and current prices by county. It’s a must-see for anyone contemplating buying or selling in this area. View the latest one by clicking here, and sign up below have it emailed to you every month.