Builders are again constructing new homes in Northwest Indiana and buyers are coming back, driven by many of the same forces propelling the existing-home market forward.
Some builders are now starting homes with no buyer lined up, confident a resurgent housing market will carry into 2014. Most builders didn't dare do that for the past five or six years.
"It seemed like the buyers who buy new construction just went into hibernation for a time there," said Bill McCabe, broker/owner at Century 21 Executive Realty, in Schererville.
The bitter cold weather of the past two months is presenting another kind of hibernation problem, with Realtors having a hard time enticing would-be buyers out for showings, McCabe said. At the same time, the frigid weather has increased online home shopping activity, so a surge in actual home showings could be in store.
Existing homes sales in Northwest Indiana increased for the third straight year in 2013, with the region's overall increase of 18.9 percent easily outstripping the national increase of 9.1 percent.