2018 Market Insights by Steve Slavin REALTOR COLDWELL BANKER LUNSFORD
2017 is behind us and I’m pleased to report it was a good year for Mid-East Central Indiana real estate activity. I wanted to provide you a quick summary of the local and national real estate market and give you an idea of what could be coming for 2018. Here goes!
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years. Their report gets into a lot of details… details you likely don’t care about in this type of update. If you’d like to know all the details go to this website: https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales. The national summary is that sales jumped 5.6 percent and are at their strongest pace since December 2006 (6.42 million homes).
No getting around it, those are good national numbers and set a great tone for what we might expect in Indiana. That said, any experienced Broker will tell you there’s no such thing as a national real estate market. Real estate is local. Activity that happens in Delaware County isn’t the same as Carmel, Ft Wayne, or even small communities like Gaston. What most look at nationally are things like the booming stock market and continuous job gains that fuel substantial demand for buying. Let’s face it, confidence is higher about the future profitability of company growth. These companies in turn move people to our community and unfortunately move them out, but this gives us new inventory to sell.
Ahhh… inventory. That’s the condition that grabs my attention locally. Regardless of price, we have so little inventory. This is not a problem unique to our area, it’s a statewide and nationwide issue. We need more homes on the market and Buyer’s can’t find homes to buy. I’m going to bore you with some quick statistics: As of 2/25/2018, there are only 305 homes on the market in all of Delaware County. In the summer we might hit 600 homes on the market. 7-8 years ago in January this was closer to 500 homes on the market and closer to 800+ available in the summer. We’ve seen this trend of less inventory for 8 or more years. Fortunately, Delaware County’s new listings were up about 2.9% from December of 2016 to 2017, but the actual closed sales were down 8.5%. The state’s closed sales were down 6.5% for 2017. In fact, if you look at data over the last 3 years, Indiana’s active listings were down 25% since 2015 and Delaware Co’s listings were down 30% over the same period. Average sale price in Delaware Co is around $105,800 (median prices were up). Sellers are getting about 95.6% of list price. I have a full presentation on all on this data if your group or organization would like an update.
As usual, Supply and Demand is at work. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. Many economists say a healthy supply of homes is about 6 months or less of inventory. Right now our median days on the market for Indiana is 34 days and in Delaware County average is about 62 days! Yes, you read that right… selling your home can happen quickly.
Year after year markets will ebb and flow, but I’m seeing our local leaders invest long term in Muncie’s future success. I’m excited about the positive changes I’ve seen. I’m born and raised in Muncie and I can’t believe how much has changed since my childhood in the 70’s. Here’s some of the recent highlights:
- Ball State has an even better reputation for higher education and is ready for a new level of achievement again under President Mearn’s new leadership.
- Our local city schools are finally turning around academically and financially and Ball State may play a future in this success story too. Reports suggest the State House and Senate should pass this Bill.
- Ivy Tech, our local community college, continues to add students, expand facilities (amazing improvements and a new Buiding are coming downtown), and generally improve statewide.
- United Way’s $1.4M Campaign was a huge success and turned this important giving around. Our community is incredibly generous!
- Local banks like MutualBank and First Merchants are growing, paying more, and being recognized as leaders in their fields.
- New restaurants are coming back to Muncie (Elm St, 3 Wise Men, Twin Archer, McCallister’s, the new Pete’s Duck Inn, Geno’s, newer fast food restaurants, etc.)
- Yorktown’s downtown will see new life with development in 2018 (City Hall starts in March).
- New Home Builders are coming to town and building more than years past. New developments are in the works.
- The Chamber’s Vision 2021 Economic Development Plan is in place.
- Our local Medical industry is thriving and IU Health Hospital & Meridian continue to be recognized for their amazing care of patients.
- New Commercial Developments and businesses are coming (like the Pure Energy Park, Industrial Centre, MadJax, Crew Carwash, Retail Developments, Medical Office Buildings, and others),
- Local employers are expanding and hiring again.
- New supermarkets have come to town (Payless and Fresh Thyme), and more!
Here’s the bottomline:
1) There’s a lot to be excited about with the future growth of our local community,
2) If buyer demand outpaces the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate, and
3) If you’re looking to sell your home, now is a great time to do it. I can obviously help. Just give me a call!
I’m hopeful for another good, stable year and I can’t wait to serve past clients and make new ones in 2018!
— Steve Slavin