Indiana – Where “Growth” is the Name of the Housing Game
Since Indiana is a state that relies heavily on manufacturing to keep its economy afloat, you can probably guess that the Hoosier State was hit hard by the Great Recession. It lost a plant from one of the “Big Three” automakers, and that’s on top of the more than 100,000 other manufacturing jobs that disappeared.
However, the manufacturing industry has started turning things around – housing included. By the summer of 2012, Indiana had already recovered 59,000 of its manufacturing jobs, leading to a 14% increase in the state’s overall job market.
But in Northwest Indiana, where steel is the dominant force, job growth has been slow – if not non-existent. After all, technology has come so far over the past few years that the days of needing thousands of employees in a steel mill are over. Still, though, realtors in Northwest Indiana say that the local housing market made significant strides in 2012. The number of home sales went up by almost 15%, and the median sales price increased by just over 4%. As an added benefit, the homes for sale in Northwest Indiana are selling faster than they did in 2011.
But will the growth continue?
Realtors here seem to think so. Even without massive strides in the local job market, there are so many other factors at work – like buyers that have been waiting years and years to make purchases, low interest rates, a low inventory, and prices that are still below pre-recession levels – that buyers simply can’t resist!
What about the bigger areas of the state?
Realtors in Indianapolis say that 2012 was the best year they’ve seen in years! Unlike the northwestern part of the state, Indianapolis’ job market saw much more activity last year. That, combined with fewer foreclosures and record-low mortgage rates, added up to a market that left sellers and realtors smiling!
By the time all was said and done, the number of home sales in Indianapolis jumped more than 18%, compared to 2011. In fact, December was the 19th month in a row that the number of sales went up here. And, the median sales price rose 6%. Now, there is a lot more breathing room for homeowners who were worried about underwater mortgages around Indiana’s largest city.
Thanks to the increase in home values, many of Indianapolis’ wealthier Baby Boomers are opting to downsize – meaning that there is an increasing number of “For Sale” signs going up in the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods. As long as the demand stays strong – and realtors here think it will – it will encourage more owners to list their homes for sale.
It just goes to show you – in both big and small cities, “growth” seems to be the name of the game!