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Report: Indy-area housing prices soar over 12 months amid inventory shortage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — While buying a home is considered to be one of the best investments, some real estate brokers say the buying is happening at an extreme cost right now.

“Right now, it’s kind of cutthroat out there for buyers,” said Joel Clausen, a real estate agent.

“We’re down 50% to 60% as far as inventory from last year, meaning we have half as many houses and the same amount of buyers if not more,” Clausen said.

F.C. Tucker Co., a real estate agents group, issued a report on Thursday showing 2,600 fewer homes available last month compared to March 2020 in Indianapolis and 15 adjacent and nearby counties. That’s making it tough for the average buyer to compete or even find a home right now.

“One thing right now is if you’re a buyer out there,” Clausen said, “you’ve got to have expectations that you’re probably going to write multiple offers on multiple homes before you get one.”

The F.C. Tucker report also shows the average cost of buying a home in Marion County in March was $209,981. That’s around $22,000 more than in March 2020.

“There was several times where we were going to look at a house at 4 p.m. and it was off the books by 1 or it came on the market and it was off in 10 hours or 12 hours because someone offered a ridiculous amount,” said Zachary Abbott, a first-time homebuyer.

Abbott says he and his fiancée faced a lot of challenges in locking down a new home. He says buyers are doing whatever it takes to find a house. “You’re offering money above list. You’re having to skip inspections, waive them,” Abbott said.

Clausen says he believes the housing shortage will likely remain until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “I’m hopeful that we’re going to start seeing some more homes. I have some really good friends and some clients who are basically saying until this is kind of over they’re staying put and that’s a great choice for each person, but people still have to move there’s still jobs, there’s still school districts to get into.”

News release

“INDIANAPOLIS – Central Indiana’s March residential real estate market continued to strengthen with robust home sales and increasing prices. Monthly real estate statistics from F.C. Tucker Company revealed that year-to-date home prices increased 10.6 percent, while available housing inventory decreased 61.1 percent.

“The average March 2021 home sale price for the 16-county central Indiana region was $259,298, an increase of 8.2 percent.

“— Available housing inventory dropped 61.1 percent compared to March 2020.

Pended home sales increased 6.9 percent compared to this time last year.

“In March 2021, 3,786 central Indiana homes were purchased, up 6.9 percent from the 3,540 sold in March 2020. Specifically:

Hancock County showed the greatest increase in pended home sales with 44.5 percent growth compared to March 2020.

Putnam County pended sales had the greatest decrease with 22.8 percent fewer homes sold in March 2021 compared to this time last year.

“Home sale prices continued their upward climb in March:

Shelby County recorded the highest average year-to-date home sale price increase at 66.1 percent.

Hamilton County had the highest average home sale price in the region at $384,240.

Homes sold in 29 days on average, 42 percent faster than in 2020. Jackson County homes left the market 52 days faster than in March 2020 – the greatest decrease of the 16-county central Indiana area.

“Central Indiana experienced a 61.1 percent decrease in home inventory in March 2021. That represents 2,687 fewer homes available for sale than in March 2020. Every county saw home inventory decreases of 23.3 percent or higher, and 12 of the 16 counties saw inventory decreases of 62.5 percent or higher.

Jennings County had the lowest inventory decrease – 23.3 percent – compared to March 2020.

Hendricks County inventory decreased the most significantly in central Indiana – 78.8 percent – compared to this time last year.

“‘Despite the dramatic decreases in inventory, home sales continued at a brisk pace in March,’ said Jim Litten, CEO of F.C. Tucker Company. ‘With spring and summer typically being a busy time for the residential real estate market, it will be interesting to see if this seller’s market continues its upward climb during the next few months.’

“Of the pended home sales in the region last month, 1 was priced $2,000,000 or higher; 38 were priced $1,000,000 to $1,999,999; 286 were priced $500,000 to $999,999; 844 were priced $300,000 to $499,999; 1,091 were priced $200,000 to $299,999; 1,189 were priced $100,000 to $199,999; and 337 were priced at $99,999 or less.”

News release “March’s residential real estate market ‘comes in like a lion’ with increases in both home sales and prices,” from Amy Hanna, senior account director, Borshoff

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