Northwest Indiana single-family home sales increased 10.2 percent in December as compared to the year-ago month, their 18th straight monthly year-over-year increase.
In all, 618 homes were sold in the five-county area in December, as compared to 561 in December 2011, according to sales figures from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. The median selling price moved up 1 percent.
With low interest rates and more people putting their homes up for sale, it remains a buyers market, according to Pete Novak, CEO of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.
"To me its all about consumer confidence and where this economy is now heading," Novak said.
The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes in 2012 rose to their highest level in five years, attributing the increase to record-low mortgage rates and steady hiring. Overall home sales in 2012 were up 9.2 percent from 2011, according to the association.
The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors reported last week home sales last year notched their best performance since 2007, increasing 14.7 percent in the five-county area as compared to 2011.
The National Association of Realtors also reported Tuesday that single-family home sales increased 11.5 percent in December above those in December 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $180,300 in December, up 10.9 percent from a year ago.
The interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan averaged 3.38 percent last week, as compared to 3.88 percent in the year-ago week, according to federally-backed mortgage bundler Freddie Mac's weekly survey.
In Lake County, 352 homes sold in December, as compared to 321 homes in December 2011, according to Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors sales data. The median selling price there last month was $117,250, as compared to $119,900 in the year-ago month.
In Porter County, 145 homes were sold in December, as compared to 121 in December 2011. The median sales price was $180,000, as compared to $148,400 in the year-ago month.
The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors covers home sales in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties.