Lots of empty new houses on market, expert says

August 10, 2007
Forty-six percent of new houses in the nine-county Indianapolis area are unoccupied-barely an improvement from the 49 percent of early this year.

The figure were compiled by Market Graphics, a Nashville, Tenn., firm that researches housing stock in 30 Midwest and Southern cities.

Market Graphics owner Edsel Charles said ongoing problems with mortgage foreclosures appear to be keeping the Indianapolis area from absorbing much new construction.

"It's heading in the right direction," said Charles, who works for the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

Empty new houses are most common in Warren and Franklin townships, and south of Pendleton in Lawrence Township, all in Marion County, Charles said. Boone County appears to have escaped the problem almost entirely.

Charles said home builders can still sell houses if the construction is designed to suit buyers and priced competitively. Buyers tend to prefer new construction because they can pick colors, and the houses are clean and have warranties, he said.

Charles' comments come as F.C. Tucker Co. reported this morning that pended sales-signed but not closed-of existing single-family and condominiums fell 1.4 percent in July from the same month a year ago, to 2,597 units.
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