Existing single-family home sales in Northwest Indiana jumped 34.4 percent in October as compared to the year-ago month, marking their largest increase of the year, according to sales figures from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.
Home sales in the five-county region covered by the association have increased every month this year, putting Northwest Indiana on track for its first year-over-year increase in home sales since 2007.
The office of ReMax Realty Associates in Munster has already bested last year's sales volume and is seeing continued strength in the local market, said Realtor Carol Dobrzynski.
"Everyone is ecstatic to be this busy," she said. "A lot of people thought by now it would slow down. But no one is complaining."
Loan processing continues to be an obstacle to some purchases, Dobrzynski said. Although lenders seem a bit more willing to work with buyers, loan processing has actually slowed down. She thought that may be due to downsized staffs at lenders struggling to keep up with the increased volume of business.
Nationally, single-family home sales in October increased 9.6 percent as compared to sales in October 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median single-family home price was $178,700 in October, which is 10.9 percent higher than one year ago.
National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that October marked the eighth consecutive month of increases in year-over-year home prices. That has not occurred since October 2005 to May 2006.
"Rising home prices have already resulted in a $760 billion growth in home equity during the past year," Yun said.
Yun predicted there could be an additional $1 trillion in home equity growth next year.
Existing single-family home sales increased 32.6 percent in Lake County in October, with the median selling price increasing 5.2 percent, according to the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.
Existing single family home sales increased 39.5 percent in Porter County and the median selling price climbed 1.4 percent.
The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors represents Realtors in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties.