Column: Home sales up 2.1 percent

Commentary by Jim Litten

Home sellers have benefitted from the continued rise in home sale prices as the number of available homes steadily declines in the nine-county central Indiana region. The average sale price rose 2.1 percent in January 2016 compared to January 2015, while the region also saw an 11.7 percent decline in available homes. Tighter inventory also affected the year’s slow start in pended home sales, which declined 9.5 percent compared to last year.

Hamilton County’s average sale price stayed nearly flat compared to last year, now at $271,330. There were approximately 100 fewer houses on the market, which represented a 6.6 percent decline from last year. Pended sales in the county also dipped 25.6 percent.

  • In Westfield, the average year-to-date home sale price increased 5.1 percent compared to this time last year, increasing to $338,277.
  • Inventory moved at a slightly faster pace in Westfield in January 2016. Overall, homes sold in 67 days – five fewer days than this time last year.
  • Buyers in Westfield had more options available to them. Last month, 217 homes were available for sale – 24 more homes compared to January 2015.
  • Pended home sales have slipped in Westfield. In January 2016, 55 homes sold – a decline of 11 homes compared to January 2015.
  • Of the pended home sales in Westfield last month, one was priced $1,000,000 to $1,999,999; two were priced $500,000 to $999,999; 17 were priced $300,000 to $499,999; 14 were priced $200,000 to $299,999; 19 were priced $100,000 to $199,999; and two were priced at $99,999 or less.

Low inventory is a trend nationwide, and it can affect the health of the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors’ recent quarterly HOME study found 83 percent of current renters hope to own a home in the future. That demand may spark current homeowners to list their homes and perhaps help spur more sales in 2016.