NWI home sales power up in 1st half of year

2013-07-22T15:30:00Z 2013-07-23T14:13:05Z NWI home sales power up in 1st half of yearKeith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Single-family home sales increased 25.7 percent in June in the five counties covered by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, marking the 24th straight month of year-over-year sales increases in the region.

So far this year, local Realtors have sold 4,468 homes, a whopping 36.9 percent increase over sales at the same point in 2011, according to association figures.

"It's quite a change from two or three years ago," said Matt Evans, of Re/Max Pace Realty, in Valparaiso. "It's definitely a great recovery we've seen."

Realtors are generally seeing what they call a "balanced market" in price ranges below $250,000, with home for sale inventories of six months or less, Evans said.

A recent spike in interest rates is getting even more would-be buyers off the fence when it comes to making a purchase, Evans said. Although rates are still low by historical standards, many fear they could go higher and trying to lock in savings while they can.

Nationally, single-family home sales increased 14.5 percent in June as compared to June 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we’re still dealing with a large pent-up demand,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

The interest rate on a 30-year conventional mortgage averaged 4.37 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage survey. That was down from 4.51 percent the week before.

Home sales in Lake County in June were up 24.1 percent, with 504 homes sold as compared to 406 in June 2012, according to sales figures from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

In Porter County, 225 homes were sold in June as compared to 180 in the year-ago-month for a 25 percent increase, according to the association.

Overall in the five counties, the median selling price of homes sold in June moved up 4.4 percent as compared to one year ago.

The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors covers homes sales in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties.

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