NWI home sales increase for 11th straight month in May

2012-06-21T13:45:00Z 2012-06-22T00:25:04Z NWI home sales increase for 11th straight month in MayBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Sales of single-family homes in Northwest Indiana notched their largest increase of the year in May, rising 14.2 percent above year-ago levels, according to sales data from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

May marks the 11th straight month that home sales have risen on a year-over-year basis, a hopeful sign for a market and an economy battered by recession.

In all, 716 single-family homes were sold in May in the five counties covered by the association, as compared to 627 in May of 2011. The median selling  price remained unchanged.

Nationally, sales of single-family homes in May were up 10.4 as compared to one year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median selling price was $182,900, up 7.7 percent from one year ago.

"The recovery is occurring despite excessively tight credit conditions and higher downpayment requirements, which are negating the impact of record high affordability conditions," said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Mortgage interest rates fell to a record low this week, with Freddie Mac reporting interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaging just 3.66 percent.

In Lake County, 394 homes were sold in May, representing a 7.1 percent increase above sales one year ago, according to the Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. The median selling price dropped 0.8 percent to $127,200.

In Porter County, 172 homes were sold, representing a 30.3 percent increase above year-ago levels. The median selling price fell 0.6 percent to $155,000.

The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors represents Realtors  in Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper and LaPorte counties. It tabulates sales and prices through its Multiple Listing Service.

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