Number of Local Home Sales and Average Prices Up, Days on Real Estate Market Down

rot2The latest real estate market data for single-family existing homes adds up to good news for the housing market in both Porter and Lake Counties, reports Jeanne Sommer, broker/owner of CENTURY 21 Alliance Group in Valparaiso, IN.

“It is a great time to buy or sell,” said Sommer. According to the numbers from Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors calculated from January 1 to September 30 this year and compared to the same time period last year, more homes are selling for a higher price, in a shorter amount of time.

The number of single-family existing home sales has increased from 1,208 last year in Porter County to 1,332 this year and from 2,893 in Lake County to 3,323. The average sales price on single-family homes also increased from $174,352 to $183,704 in Porter County and from $130,936 to $133,010 in Lake County.

In addition, the days a property is listed on the market are down in Porter County from 157 last year to 145 this year, while Lake County saw a decrease from 107 to 101.

Numbers are improving across the board and Sommer admitted, “The biggest secret now is that we need more inventory. Inventories were as high as 22 months previously and are now at 6 months or lower in some price ranges, making it a great time to sell.”

As interest rates continue to stay low, it is also a good time to buy. Less than two years ago, the mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed conventional loan was 7%, which at the time was considered a great rate. In comparison, if you secured at rate of 3.5% today and put 20% down, you would be able to buy a home priced at $50,000 more and still pay the same monthly mortgage payment. (Disclaimer: Rates change daily. Contact your local lender for current rates.)

“My advice is that if you think you are going to be looking for a home within the next year, I would start right now and get more home for your money,” concluded Sommer.

Graph 2012 September