Indiana’s Housing Industry Showing Signs of Recovery

Recently, the Dow Industrials average topped 13,000 for the first time in almost four years. The market closed at 12,966, giving up most of the gains for the day.  Still, there are encouraging numbers out for the economy.  Some of the numbers are coming from Indiana’s housing industry. It is off to its best start in years.  Sales are up significantly and prices are up slightly.  “We had a big, big house,” said Bob Persinger, standing in the crowed garage of his new condo. For an entire year the couple didn’t get a single offer. Just when they gave up, their realtor called out of the blue with a buyer.  “Right from nowhere!” laughed Nancy Lyons.


The Indiana Association of Realtors reports January’s home sales jumped almost 14 percent from January 2011. Median home sales prices inched up one percent.  IU’s Kelley School of Business says confidence among new home builders is the highest it has been in almost five years.  The mild winter has certainly helped.


“I think it’s more than a blip in the market,” said Tucker realtor Ted Butz. He’s been selling homes for 40 years. “People are going to open houses. People are going to builder’s models. I think buyers are feeling a little more optimistic as the stock market has done better.”


Even with the improvement, home sales are still a fraction of what they were before the recession.  The housing industry is an essential part of the economy. Just think of the money spent furnishing, fixing, and improving a home once it’s purchased. Homes are also a family’s biggest investment – a tangible asset of wealth and prosperity.


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Prof. Bill Rieber with Butler University College of Business explained a home’s impact on the economy.  “If they are more opportunities to move and you are more willing to put money into your home, if you think it is going to rise in value, the prosperity is shared all around,” he said.


Improving home sales and values can turn a money pit into a gold mine of economic activity.


If you plan on selling your home, here are some simple tips from Indiana realtors:

  • First, get a reality check. Look at the prices of homes like yours in your area. Price your house competitively. Set the price according to what the market says it is worth, not what you say it should sell for.
  • Also, check the condition of the home. Clean up and dress up the place. It could be as easy as keeping the liter box clean and removing unneeded furniture.
  • Lastly, consider investing in a home inspection. Finding and fixing problems now could prevent a deal-killing surprise later.

by:  R. Van Wyk