IBJNews

Existing-home sales market surging 15 percent across Indiana

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Nissa Ricafort and her husband figured their ranch-style home in northeast Indianapolis would take two to three months to sell, but the weekend it hit the market the couple had 17 showings and accepted an offer for the full $185,000 asking price.

"It was the most insane thing I ever experienced," said Ricafort, a family law attorney. "But a good insane. I closed on the sale of one home, then closed on the other four days later and moved in between. It's really worked out great."

The housing market has spiked so much in some places in the Indianapolis area that real estate agents are turning to Facebook and going door-to-door looking for prospective sellers because of a shortage of houses for sale. Sales are up overall statewide, with Indiana reporting 68,015 homes sold from March 2012 through February 2013, a 15.2-percent increase over the same period a year earlier. For the first two months of 2013, sales were up 20.5 percent. Home sales have improved on a year-over-year basis for 20 consecutive months.

"In the major markets, everything seems to be very, very busy," said Kevin Kirkpatrick, president of the Indiana Association of Realtors. "We don't have enough inventory for the number of buyers that are out there right now. That's what's causing prices to go up. They're not skyrocketing, but things are moving in the right direction."

The median cost of a home in Indiana is up 4.7 percent, from $112,750 to $118,000.

Toby Muhlhofer, an Indiana University assistant professor of finance who specializes in real estate, said it's not surprising the housing market in Indianapolis is leading the comeback.

"It makes sense because Indianapolis is where Indiana's economic output is centered," he said.

Other areas also are seeing improvement.

"It's still very clearly a buyer's market, but that pendulum is beginning to swing and I think consumers are noticing that," said Peter Novak Jr., chief executive of Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

Some buyers are having trouble even finding homes to look at. Tonya Sanderson of Fishers said she's been looking nearly a year for a four-bedroom house with a three-car garage and a yard big enough for a pool in the school district she lives in, but there have been few houses to look at.

"We really thought by now there would be a lot of houses being listed and we'd have a lot of options, but we're not seeing that," Sanderson said.

She said she's considering putting letters in mailboxes of homes she likes to see if people are interested in selling.

Cindy Marchant, a real estate agent since 2001 in Fishers, said home sales in the suburb are up 48 percent from a year ago. She said it's the best market she's seen. She attributes the improvement to pent-up demand, low interest rates, improving consumer confidence and homeowners becoming frustrated last year at the lack of sales lowering their prices.

"It was the perfect storm, but no one was jumping because everyone was afraid because so many people were unemployed," she said. "It was hard to go out on a limb and buy a house. But I think now, people are ready to make a move."

Kirkpatrick worries, though, that the resurgence is fragile.

"If something happens with North Korea or something happens with oil prices, it could knock it off real quickly," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

ADVERTISEMENT