The weather may not feel like it, but the spring home selling season is here and realtors say available inventories are the lowest they’ve seen in decades. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Broker Greg Cooper calls it an inventory drought, unlike anything he’s see in his 30 years in the business, and it appears to be accelerating. "We have houses in different places in Indiana getting six, seven, eight, nine offers," said Cooper. "We are in the peak of the season so that absolutely means the maximum number of home buyers competing for the minimum number of properties."
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Cooper talked about what is driving the market and what might be next.
According to Cooper, the inventory squeeze has put unusual upward pressure on home prices in dozens of Indiana counties. Data show the state’s median home price increased 12.9 percent in the first three months of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. "You never see in Indiana where median housing prices go up 12 percent in a quarter," said Cooper. "Dozens of Indiana counties in the first three months of 2018 saw double digit median price escalations from 2017."
To illustrate the scale of the shrinking home inventory in Indiana, Cooper points to data that shows on March 1, 2016 there were 32,012 homes for sale statewide. On March 1, there were 23,175 homes on the market, a more than 28 percent drop in just 24 months.
Cooper says the situation has also inflated the cost of new construction, which has been exacerbated by a shortage of skilled labor and materials.