Indianapolis Home Sales Heating Up After Winter’s Grip is Broken

Indianapolis Home SalesThe Indianapolis real estate market in the first quarter of 2014 displayed both a market in transition as well as one hammered by the relentless “Polar Vortex.”

The numbers in the latest edition of Carpenter Reports illustrate fewer closed units and fewer pended units caused by a combination of inventory challenges and an extended winter season. However, increasing pressure from home buyers are helping drive a measurable increase in average sale prices.

The “Polar Vortex” seemed to make the winter last forever, causing home sellers and buyers alike to delay activity. This was shown in the 12.6% decline in Units Closed along with an 11.4% drop in Units Pending in central Indiana. Shelby County was most affected, with a 31.1% decrease in pended sales, followed closely by Putnam County, declining 29.7%. In fact, of the eleven counties tracked – including ten townships in Marion County – only one showed an increase in pended sales, Hendricks County at +1.4%. In Marion County, Washington Township was a notable exception to this rule, improving its pended sales count by 13.9% over the same period in 2013.

Housing inventory continues to lag behind buyer interest, although we did see a slight increase in year-over-year inventory levels. This was the first comparable increase recently, led by a healthy 22.9% increase in Johnson County and an 8.3% increase in Shelby County. Overall, inventory is starting to build.

As we have stated in the past, a healthy increase in home prices continues, at an accelerating pace. The average for our eleven-county data showed the average sale price at $162,079, a strong 11.3% increase from the first quarter of 2013. This pace was led by Putnam County with an 18.2% increase, Johnson County at +17.3% and Hamilton County, increasing 14.7% on average. Only one of those eleven counties, Madison, had a decrease in average sale price, at -6.3%.

At Carpenter Realtors® we’re optimistic that a combination of improved weather, improving inventory and steady mortgage rates is going to show that the challenges to home sales we faced in the first quarter were temporary, and are now behind us. The future of housing in central Indiana continues to be a bright one.

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