Real estate analysts anticipate that in years to come, 2012 will be considered the year the real estate market turned the corner after a five tumultuous years, and local year-end real estate market data for single-family existing homes in Lake and Porter Counties supports this notion, according to Jeanne Sommer, broker/owner of CENTURY 21 Alliance Group in Valparaiso.
“For five years, if the number of homes for sale went up, pricing went down, but now the number of homes for sale and pricing have increased in both counties,” she said. “Entering into 2013, interest rates remain low and we continue to see an increase in the number of sales and average home prices.”
Housing inventory, an indicator of the strength of the market, remained near six months in both counties for December. An inventory level of six months is an indication of a good market.
“Typically, housing inventory begins to go up in November and remains high until spring when the number of home sales increase,” Sommer explained. “But December was such a strong month the actual months of supply went down from November in Lake and Porter counties.”
Compared to 2011, more homes sold for a higher price in a shorter amount of time in 2012. The number of single-family existing home sales increased from 1,555 in Porter County in 2011 to 1,806 in 2012 and from 3,857 in Lake County to 4,508. The average sales price on single-family homes continued to climb from $175,135 to $183,728 in Porter County and from $130,021 to $134,103 in Lake County.
In addition, the days a property was listed on the market were down in Porter County from 158 last year to 142 this year, while Lake County saw a decrease from 150 to 133. (Data provided by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® (GNIAR) and calculated from January 1 to December 31 in 2012 and compared to the same time period in 2011)
“With inventories holding steady and pricing increasing as we move into 2012, don’t wait until spring to list your home when inventories will rise and pricing may reduce,” Sommer advised. “Additionally, now’s the time to buy and take advantage of historically low interest rates while they last.”