Indy housing market getting some traction

September 30, 2009
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The grueling years of the housing downturn appear to be over, but a full recovery is one to two years away.

That’s the take of veteran real estate broker Jim Litten, who sees a firming in the bottom strata of the market, but continued weakness in expensive homes.

The region has been firming since spring, says Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Co. That’s a big change from the freefall experienced by the industry late last year.

The supply of houses priced at $300,000 and below has fallen to seven months from the 11-month glut of a year ago, Litten points out. That’s a good “balance” between buyers and sellers, he says.

More expensive houses are still a buyers’ market.

The $8,000 tax credit has moved a number of first-time buyers into the market, and some of those purchases are springing existing owners to buy pricier houses. However, the impact is blunted by the number of foreclosed houses purchased. No occupant, no upwardly mobile purchase.

“We’re still dealing with the impact of foreclosures and short sales as they flush through the system,” Litten says.

As many as two years will pass before the local market reaches levels of 2003 and 2004, the most recent “normal” market for the Indianapolis area, he says. That’s about 29,000 sales a year.

What do you think about the local housing market?

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