Coronavirus

Pandemic ‘perfect storm’ creates hot housing market for Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Hoosiers who are looking to buy or sell their houses are not alone. Realtors said the housing market is hot right now in Indiana and some houses are selling within hours.

They are calling the buyers market a pandemic-induced perfect storm, with low-interest rates, a low supply of houses in Indiana and a lot of people who are stuck at home, looking for their next perfect house.

The “for sale” and “sold” signs around the state are a sign of the times.

“Going from two bedrooms and one bathroom to five and three bathrooms is a huge change,” said Trent Van Emon. “We are very happy that we were able to make this move.”

Photo of Trent Van Emon

It’s a move people like Van Emon are taking advantage of. With the pandemic, he’s been working from home and his fiance, who is an overnight shift nurse, sleeps during the day. So, their small house in Broad Ripple wasn’t cutting it.

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While they weren’t planning to move, the pandemic canceled their wedding and changed their housing needs. So, they were able to sell their house at a higher price and take advantage of low-interest rates when buying an even bigger and newer home.

“If you’re not working in an office and you’re working from home, you have to have your own space or everyone starts to go a little crazy if you’re just on top of each other,” said Van Emon.

Christie Snapp is a realtor with Re/Max’s Indy Scene Team and said more people are looking for homes with offices, extra living space, and outdoor amenities.

“Houses are selling sometimes within hours,” said Snapp.

However, the home demand in Indiana is outweighing the supply.

“We have .9 months worth of inventory right now. Meaning if nobody else listed their home right now, we would run out of inventory in less than a month. So that’s insane,” said Snapp.

Photo of Trent Van Emon

A seller’s market is when there is less than six months worth of inventory and a buyer’s market is when there are more than six months worth of inventory. However, inventory isn’t the only component.

Add in the record low-interest rates that were sparked by the health crisis and there is a perfect housing storm.

“Sort of a perfect storm of a lot of buyers, low inventory,” said Snapp.

Realtors said there are now more renters wanting to buy homes. More buyers getting a bigger house for a lower mortgage and more or current homeowners refinancing to save money and then staying put.

Jason Kraus is a broker at Re/Max Advanced Realty and said this is an all-time seller’s market. Meaning buyers have to move fast.

“Not only do you need to be able to put forward a strong offer, but you need to be pre-approved and ready to buy and you have to move quickly. Because you know a lot of homes are staying on the market for days and even hours at some point,” said Kraus.

A word of caution though. Relators said this market could change next year when the Cares Act mortgage forbearance ends.

Photo of a house for sale.

“They are going to have three or four months of mortgage payments to pay immediately,” said Snapp. “So, a lot of those people are not going to be able to do that and that may result in having to foreclose.”

“We may see an uptick in foreclosures and or people needing to move. Not only needing to sell because it’s a great market but selling because financially that has become an immediate need,” said Kraus.

While the pandemic means a lot of unknowns for the future, Van Emon said looking for the silver lining can go a long way.

“You have to figure out how to keep moving forward and make a positive out of it,” said Van Emon.

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