The housing bust has come to this

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?

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.