As another year wraps up, we’re taking a look at how Central Indiana has handled the ever-changing real estate market. A couple trends around the Circle City have stood out, but what does that mean for 2019? By reflecting on the past, we’ll have a better understand on where the new year might take us!
A Year of Low Inventory in Real Estate
Across the country, inventory shortages have proven to be a new norm in 2018. Just in the first six months, the number of homes for sale was 18.2 percent lower than in the first half of 2015, according to an article from Realtor.com. This decline has led to more bidding wars, higher prices, and lower selection for buyers across the board. But that hasn’t been bad news for sellers.
The drop in real estate inventory has proven to be even more true for the Indianapolis area. The changes here have been even more dramatic than in other parts of the country. In just three years, we’ve seen inventory decrease by 49.6 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift! And compared to the coasts, pricing around Indy is still more affordable. The growing economy might see an influx of new buyers coming in from out of state, as well as more people staying put. Without enough property to go around, we’ll probably see home prices continue to rise.
Faster Home Sales around Indianapolis
We’ve also seen faster home sales this year in Central Indiana. One article from May 2018 described this frenzied market in a straight-forward way: “A house goes on the market, you get a bunch of showings right away and there’s multiple offers.” This has been a sweet setup for sellers, but the fierce competition makes the house hunt that much harder for buyers. Whereas homes would stay on the market for months in the past, in 2018 some were sold just hours after getting listed.
Of course, not every sale this year happened in one day. According to Trulia’s June numbers, Marion County saw homes on the market for 46 days on average. In Hamilton County, the average was 55 days. These shorter timeframes for listings has also been reflected in price range. Marion County saw an 8.9 percent increase in the average sale price this summer. But even if prices are going up, buyers don’t seem to mind. Although new construction has been happening all over the area, there’s still a high demand for homes. This puts the spotlight on existing homes. Buyers are willing to pay for the features they want most—wherever they can find them.
Looking Ahead for the 2019 Market
So long as you have a great team on your side for listing and staging your home, you should expect to see more great outcomes with the 2019 market. According to the November 2018 Market Indicators Report, the one-year change saw a 7.1 percent increase for the month of October. The year-to-date statistics are even better, at 8.5 percent. This is great boost for sellers! The median sales price for homes in our area has continued to rise over the 2017 numbers, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down.
If the number of homes on the market continues to be slim in 2019, we could expect to see even more competition amongst buyers, since pending sales improved this year. Buyers seem to be especially eager to put in offers throughout these low-inventory months. This might be the main reason why the sales prices have been looking so good. The October 2018 numbers show a 5.5 percent uptick from 2017 YTD pending sales, so the activity is still hot.
Of course, sellers still need to know how to distinguish their home from the pack. A neat and tidy home with a great inspection report may not be enough to attract your ideal buyer. That’s why your listing photos and a fantastic walk-through can really help your property to shine. Buyers are more interested in fighting for homes when they have an emotional appeal. Professional home staging does just that. By painting the picture of what life would look like in a new home, you can help make your listing the must-have home for your area.
If you’re looking to make a move in the new year, Home Matters can help! Give us a call today to start planning your home’s marketing strategy with great furnishings and design. We’d love to hear from you.