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Existing Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors reported a year-over-year decline in the sale of existing homes in October, though sales were up from September.

Sales of existing homes in Northwest Indiana continued their year-over-year rise in October, with 1,003 closings in the seven-county area representing a 2.2 percent increase over the same month a year ago.

That brought 2018's total to 9,276 sales, 2 percent higher than the first 10 months of 2017, according to the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

The median sale price also rose, by 4.8 percent, to $165,000. October's median matches the year-to-date price, which is 7.1 percent higher than the first 10 months of 2017.

GNIAR represents Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski counties. The three lakeshore counties had mixed results in October.

Lake County recorded a 7.9 percent increase in sales to 587, with a 4.2 percent increase in median price to $162,500. Porter County saw a significant drop in sales, of 11.9 percent to 215, while its median price rose 8 percent to $205,000. LaPorte County had sales increase 3.3 percent to 125, and the median sale price jump 20.6 percent to $155,000.

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Statewide, sales increased by less than 1 percent, to 7,705, according to the Indiana Association of Realtors. The median sale price is up 7.1 percent, to $158,000, from a year ago.

The national story is different. The National Association of Realtors reported sales are down 5.1 percent from a year ago, but up from September.

The median price was up 3.8 percent year-over-year, to $255,400.

The NAR's chief economist said the increase in sales from September was encouraging, and resulted from a rising inventory of homes for sale. But Lawrence Yun said rising mortgage rates are hurting potential first-time buyers.

“Rising interest rates and increasing home prices continue to suppress the rate of first-time homebuyers," Yun said. "Home sales could further decline before stabilizing. The Federal Reserve should, therefore, re-evaluate its monetary policy of tightening credit, especially in light of softening inflationary pressures, to help ease the financial burden on potential first-time buyers and assure a slump in the market causes no lasting damage to the economy."

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Assistant Deputy Editor

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.