‘Hot’ housing market due to low housing supply national report shows

St. Joseph County inventory cut in half from a year ago
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -16 News Now is digging deeper into a new report from the National Association of Realtors that says the median home price increased by nearly $50,000 across the country in the last year.

16 News Now found out what factors are behind this hot market, and what higher home prices mean for us in Michiana.

The lack of houses on the market is increasing demand and driving up the price. To put that into perspective here in St. Joe County, there are half as many homes on the market right now as there were this time last year.

Steve Smith from Irish Realty says they’d run out of homes to sell in St. Joseph County within one month if no more homes enter the market.

There was a two-month supply at this time last year.

He says people are willing to pay more for homes because there are fewer of them out there.

“Just this past weekend we had a home with 16 offers on the table and sold $20,000 over list price. So in all price points and all locations, we’re seeing unbelievable movements,” said Irish Realty Co-Owner Steve Smith.

The report shows the median price of homes went up by roughly $50,000 dollars nationally in the past year, from $280,700 to $329,100.

Smith says some parts of St. Joseph County are seeing home prices go up by 20%.

He says this is the time for people to sell, but even with high prices, low interest rates make this a tempting time for buyers too.

“With low interest rates and some great, low down-payment options available, it is a great time to buy and I would encourage people to think about buying now if they can,” Smith said.

South Bend Area Realtor’s C.E.O. says impacts from the pandemic have real estate in uncharted territory.

He says most people aren’t predicting a housing bubble right now, but there are factors that could change that.

“You look at what’s been going on in terms of the stimulus money that’s been injected into the housing market, and with some of the moratoriums on rent collection, evictions and things like that. You don’t know what’s going to happen when those programs come to an end,” said South Bend Area REALTOR C.E.O. Myron Larimer.

Smith says those looking to buy in this market should consider hiring a realtor to help navigate the competition.

The report claims, without an increase in supply, the society wealth division will widen with homeowners enjoying sizable equity gains while renters will struggle to become homeowners.

Median home prices in the Midwest are nearing a quarter-million dollars, but it’s still the most affordable region in the country.

Smith says new construction in Michiana will help increase the supply of homes for sale.

“We have over 500 units coming to market over the next couple of years and that’s going to be critical. During the great recession, new construction really wound down and almost ground to a halt, and one of the only ways to balance the supply and demand equation is to bring more new homes to the market, which we’re doing,” Smith said.

16 News Now spoke to homeowners earlier this week who say increasing home prices are making them pay more on their property tax bill.

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