First-time homebuyers boosting residential sales

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Low-priced homes and foreclosures are driving a large chunk of residential real estate sales in Indianapolis, largely due to first-time home buyers taking advantage of a federal tax credit, according to a report released today by Re/Max of Indiana.

Through August, 68 percent of homes sold in the nine-county Indianapolis area were priced under $150,000, up from 43 percent in 2008.

Re/Max attributed the higher number to an $8,000 tax credit available to first-time home buyers. The credit expires Dec. 1.

“It’s definitely driving sales, absolutely,” Re/Max Select agent Brian DeMarco said. “We’re definitely seeing a lot of people wanting to become first-time home buyers.”

DeMarco said homes priced under $150,000 comprise a large percentage of Indianapolis-area homes anyway. In August, the average home price was $146,999, a 1.3-percent increase from the same month last year.

About 8,000 homes on the market in the 9-county area are priced under $150,000.

In Marion County, the average home price last month was $109,597, up 1.2 percent from a year ago.

Sales of foreclosed properties, which typically sell below market prices, made up 22 percent of area home sales in August. While still relatively high, the percentage has fallen steadily since a peak of 46 percent in January.

“It got as bad as nearly half of all sales involved a foreclosure,” DeMarco said. “Realistically, we are still currently working with banks a lot more than we used to.”

The average price of a foreclosed home in the Indianapolis area in August was $66,885. 

The number of foreclosed homes being sold locally is outstripping the number coming on the market, which is good news for the housing market, DeMarco said.

Overall, the number of active listings in August fell 15.5 percent from the year-ago period, to 16,234, according to Re/Max.



  • My husband and I bought out first home this year. I was easily able to amend our 2008 taxes and received the tax credit fairly quick. Last year I was disappointed we did not buy, but after getting our new home I was so glad we waited.
  • We have seen first time home buyers range from 18 years of age up to 65+ and buy fixer-upper homes right up to move-in ready homes at discounts. It has really been an exciting year as a REALTOR helping people buy and move into their new home!!
  • In my opinion foreclosures are the best deal if you have low budget. Check out here great deals about foreclosures for sale.

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.