Fewer Northwest Indiana houses sell in June, but prices rise

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The housing market in Northwest Indiana continued a trend of rising prices and fewer sales during the month of June, according to the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

"Obviously, sales numbers are down. Given the market, it's not much of a surprise," said Peter Novak Jr., association CEO.

Low inventory continues to be a major factor for both trends.

"It's a combination of high prices and people not finding what they want, which goes back to high prices. They're not finding what they want at the price they're willing to pay," Novak said of the drop in sales.

"The demand is still solid," he said.

Novak said there were about 3,300 homes for sale during June, which is considerably less from the normal number. In January 2014, when GNIAR started tracking inventory, there were 5,327 total houses on the market in Northwest Indiana. Normally, inventory ranges between 4,000 and 6,000 housing units, he said.

Novak didn't think the Federal Reserve's decision July 31 to cut interest rates by 25 basis points would have much effect on housing sales.

"The interest rates are already so low, I don't think it would be a reason between buying or not buying," he said.

According to GNIAR's monthly report, 618 housing units were sold in Lake County in June at a median sales price of $182,250, which reflects an 11% drop from the 694 houses sold in June 2018 and a 10.8% increase from the median price of $164,450 last June.

As of the end of June, the number of houses sold in Lake County was down by 6%, 2,947 to 2,769, and the median sales price was up by 6.3%, $157,900 to $167,900.

In Porter County, the number of houses sold year-over-year in June dropped 5.9%, from 254 in 2018 to 239 in June, while the median sales price rose 15.1%, $195,413 to $225,000.

Year-to-date, there were 1,096 houses sold in Porter County this year, 7.6% fewer than the 1,186 houses sold during the same period last year. The median sales price during the first six months of the year jumped 11.9% from $194,000 in 2018 to $217,000 this year.

In the seven counties covered by GNIAR — Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Starke, Jasper and Pulaski — the number of houses sold in June slid by 7.9%, 1,162 to 1,070, while the median sales price increased by 12.1%, $165,000 to $185,000. Year-to-date, the number of houses sold year-over-year dropped by 6.7%, from 5,142 to 4,797. The median sales price, meanwhile, increased by 7.7% as of June 30, from $160,000 to $172,400.

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