Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

July 6, 2014

Homes spend less time on market

Fewer properties listed means better outcomes for sellers

Things are looking up in Howard County’s real estate market.

After a slow start the year, with sales hampered by brutal winter weather, real estate professionals report brisk sales and lower inventory – which is good for sellers.

“I see the residential listing inventory staying rather low, comparatively speaking,” said Kevin Hardie, co-owner and broker at the Hardie Group. He said with fewer listings available, desirable properties are being sold quickly and as new homes come on the market, others are taken off, keeping the inventory levels steady.

A measure of the average days on market can be a good indicator of what’s happening in a local market, said Amy Pate, executive vice president of the Realtors Association of Central Indiana. In the months of April, May and June of 2013, it took an average of 95 days to sell a property. In those same months in 2014, which June figures aren’t entirely closed out yet, it took 86 days to sell a house.

“We don’t have a lot of inventory for people to choose from,” Pate said. “With inventory down a little bit, it is a little more competitive of a market. Houses in good condition usually sell pretty quickly.”

Pate also said the percentage of homes expiring from listing is falling, meaning even the hardest to sell properties are being purchased.

“More of the houses, regardless of price and condition and everything else … are successfully selling,” she said.

Hardie said overall, the real estate market is in balance, with sellers enjoying quicker sales and steady prices, and buyers taking advantage of low interest rates and homes that are in good condition.

Foreclosures, which affected the market for a number of years, make up a smaller part of the number of listings. Those properties tend to drive down prices and can have lasting effects.

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