Home sales up in Northwest Indiana, prices rise even more

Home sales up in Northwest Indiana, prices rise even more

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Sales of existing homes in Northwest Indiana grew in January as compared to a year ago, but not by as much as prices, continuing a trend in the seven counties that make up the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

A total of 601 sales in January topped the same month in 2017 by 1.5%, according to GNIAR’s Multiple Listing Service. The median selling price of $155,000 topped last year’s by 9.2%.

Nationally, sales were down in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. Measured at an annualized rate, sales in January were down 3.2% from December and 4.8% when compared to January 2017. January’s sales rate of 5.38 million is the slowest since September.

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The NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, blames any sluggishness on low inventory, a common refrain for more than a year.

“The utter lack of sufficient housing supply and its influence on higher home prices muted overall sales activity in much of the U.S. last month,” Yun said. Realtors are reporting an increase in potential buyers over a year ago, but sales didn’t keep pace.

“It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth,” Yun said.

The median existing-home price was $240,500, up 5.8% from January 2017, and the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.

Yun said January saw a jump in new home construction, and growing homebuilder confidence.

“These two factors will hopefully lay the foundation for the building industry to meaningfully ramp up production as this year progresses,” Yun said.

In the Region, Lake County saw 4.5% sales growth to 352, with a 9.3% median price increase to $156,275. Porter County’s sales fell 9% to 121, while the median price rose 5.8% to $190,500. And LaPorte County saw a 7% growth in sales to 76, and a 5.3% decline in median price to $112,700.

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