Real estate

REAL ESTATE: Rising tide lifting all boats

Times Board of Economists - Update from Bill McCabe, broker/owner Century 21 Executive Realty
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z 2014-01-29T10:29:04Z REAL ESTATE: Rising tide lifting all boatsBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Northwest Indiana Realtors are riding a wave of almost two years worth of monthly sales increases, while keeping a wary eye out for market changes that could affect future sales.

Despite the string of good news for an industry that was particularly battered by the recession, Century 21 Executive Realty Broker/Owner Bill McCabe keeps fielding two questions: What is happening with prices and where are interest rates going?

Prices have stopped falling but locally they are increasing little, McCabe said. Buyers may be shopping for higher end homes, driving average sold prices upward, but prices of individual properties have in fact been static.

Inventory shortages are starting to put upward pressure on prices, but it remains difficult to get appraisals that are any higher than previously. Federal regulations passed in the wake of the housing crisis are the main culprit behind the difficulty with appraisals.

As for interest rates, the days of home mortgage rates in the 3 percent range are probably over. Rates are now climbing through the 4 percent range. That has buyers scrambling to find homes before rates go up further, so the rise may actually be pushing home sales numbers upward for now.

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