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Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

The housing bust has come to this

July 14, 2009
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For a peek into just how hard the housing bust has hit the Indianapolis area, look no further than a new study by the Indiana Business Research Center, an arm of Indiana Universityâ??s Kelley School of Business.

The region, long considered one of the stateâ??s bright spots, has lost much of its luster, at least temporarily. The reversal is so pronounced that, believe it or not, youâ??d have been better off buying a house in Madison County, home of Anderson, the once-teeming General Motors bastion, than next door in prosperous Hamilton County.

The study looked at median seasonally adjusted annual home sales prices from 1990 to 2008, and found that Hamilton and Marion counties showed some of the weakest gains. Each had average increases of just 1.5 percent.

A home in Hamilton County would have fetched a median price of $112,280 in 1990; by 2008 the figure had grown to only $145,920.

And gains were little better elsewhere in the Indianapolis area.

Why did Hamilton and Marion counties fall out of bed? They appear to have benefited more from the housing boom and then were hit harder when it fizzled. Hamilton County saw median prices climb to $173,100 when its peak occurred in 2005.

Keeping this in perspective, Hamilton County still has some of the highest sale prices in the state. And the county still is benchmarked among some of the wealthiest in the nation. The housing downturn doesnâ??t necessarily imply everyone in Carmel or Fishers is suddenly poor.

What do you forecast for the housing market in the Indianapolis area? How long will it take for prices to recover?
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