The first quarter of 2012 was the best for housing in the past five years, and sales in the Indianapolis area were up 16% over the same three-month period (ending in April) in 2011. So, is the housing market on the rebound? Are we out of the dark?
The answers are “sort of” and “not totally.” We were lucky here in the midwest, when the you-know-what hit the fan. We weren’t hit as badly as the east and west coasts, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona and several other areas of the country. Yes, our homes lost value that will never be recovered. But our market didn’t tank as horribly as the aforementioned areas.
And now, Indianapolis-Carmel is being recognized as the most affordable major U.S. housing market in the first quarter of this year. (National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.) Close to 96% of the homes sold in the area were affordable to those earning the median family income of $66,900. That fact, along with the good press we’ve been getting from the Super Bowl and other such events, should help our local economy and boost the housing market even more.
So, things are looking good for Indy! Is it time to buy? I’d say most definitely. Interest rates are somewhere around 4% — amazing — and home prices are about 34% lower than they were at the peak in 2006.
Pessimists argue that prices could fall even more, with so many foreclosures in the pipeline. Yes, maybe that’s true. But in most markets across the U.S., renting is more expensive than buying. So, is the American Dream still alive? Is homeownership still a desirable goal for young people? I think so, and if I didn’t already own a home, I’d certainly be shopping for one!
So for those of you sitting the fence, go out and get yourself some homeownership!
Onward and upward … 🙂