The monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report released by the state’s REALTORS® last week shows that 2012 was a strong turnaround year for Indiana housing markets.
Statewide, there were 8,531 more homes sold in 2012 than in 2011 – a 14.7 percent increase year-over-year.
The median price of all 66,516 homes sold in Indiana last year was $118,000 - 4.5 percent more than the median price of all homes sold in 2011 ($112,900).
The average price of all homes sold last year was $140,043 – 3.6 percent more than 2011 ($135,183).
“Housing markets in Indiana have decidedly turned the corner away from the worst of the recession,” Karl Berron, Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®, said.
“Statewide, market activity and home prices were better each month of 2012 than the year before, and the year as a whole was better than the last two years. But the biggest story of this report is that homes have not only held their value, but also made price gains to levels not seen since the recession began. Realtors have every reason to believe that buyer demand will maintain the momentum throughout 2013. Continued economic growth and cheap borrowing costs will insure it.”
There’s no doubt that 2012 was a phenomenal year to buy a house. Record-low mortgage interest rates and bottom-of-the-market prices enabled buyers to get more house for their money – and those who were willing to take the plunge felt confident in their investment.
As 2013 emerges, we continue to see consistent signs of a reinvigorated real estate market. Many homeowners who have been sitting on the sidelines are now ready to put their homes on the market so they can make their next move while interest rates remain near historic lows.
According to the 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by the National Association of REALTORS®, 39 percent of recent homebuyers were first-time buyers while 46 percent of home sellers traded up to a larger size and higher priced home. The typical buyer was 42 years-of-age, and 65 percent of recent homebuyers were married couples. The typical seller lived in their home for nine years.
In looking at these numbers, it is highly anticipated that there is still a great deal of pent-up demand for move-up buyers – those who have been living in their homes for a number of years and are looking to upgrade.
While many of these potential sellers are waiting for the “prime” spring real estate season, others are planning and preparing now to get a jump on their competition.
Since 90 percent of all homebuyers and 96 percent of buyers under the age of 44 go to the internet first when searching for a new home, sellers need to strongly consider how they can make the very best impression on the web.
With 93 percent of sellers reporting that their home was listed or advertised on the internet, there’s no doubt that web marketing is important. It’s one of many reasons why you need a professional REALTOR®.
When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, be sure you are working with a full-time professional – one with experience handling transactions like yours, who knows the area and the competition, has demonstrated negotiating skills in case there’s a bidding war and is well-organized to keep your deal on track. Along with knowing the local market, it’s your agent’s job to communicate with prospective buyers as they start their searches online.
Internet listings that result in the fastest sales include a realistic asking price and great photographs. That means sellers need to have their homes staged and ready to go from day one. After all, there are always plenty of properties to compare online, making the input of your real estate agent even more valuable than ever.
Right now, with the inventory of existing homes at its lowest point since the fall of 2005, is certainly a unique window of opportunity for future move-up buyers to get their home listed and sold before the competition increases during the height of the spring selling season.
Just ask your real estate agent – the late winter months tend to bring out more serious buyers and properties are selling . . . fast!