The good news for buyers is the number of houses for sale in Northwest Indiana is picking up.

The problem, though, is that it’s still not keeping up with the number of buyers, said Jessica Kish, president-elect for Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

Kish said there were 1,318 new listings in April of this year compared to 833 in April 2020.” That’s an increase of 58%,” she said.

Still, she said inventory will stay lower than the number of buyers due to the high demand. She said a large sector of the buyers are coming from Illinois, where they’re used to paying more for their real estate and their real estate taxes than in Indiana.

“Indiana has always been a place people in Illinois want to come over to. Now there’s a flood of them,” said Kish, a Realtor who covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Jasper counties.

She said some will offer more than the asking price for a house and still pay less per month than what they were paying when taxes are figured into the calculation.

Not all the buyers are coming from across the border.

With more people working from home during the pandemic, some Hoosiers who worked in Illinois and so stayed close to the Illinois border are now finding they can move to Valparaiso or other communities further east, she said.

Others have found they simply need or want more space, now that they’re working from home.

According to GNIAR’s report on pre-owned homes sold in April, year-over-year median sales price of houses in both Lake and Porter counties rose about 12.6% in April, increasing from $182,000 to $205,000 in Lake County and from $222,200 to $250,000 in Porter County.

The statistics include existing single-family houses, condominiums, town houses and duplexes.

The median sales price for all seven counties in GNIAR’s territory combined rose 8.1%, from $185,000 to $200,000, according to the monthly report. GNIAR also covers LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke and Pulaski counties.

While Lake County also reported an increase in the number of units sold year-over-year, from 465 to 503, Porter County sales dropped 13.1%, from 206 to 179. Sales for all seven counties combined were up 4.2%, from 812 to 846, GNIAR reported.

Year-to-date statistics remain fairly strong for Lake County. The median sales price rose 8.4% from January through April, from $173,000 to $187,500. Lake County had a 6.1% hike in houses sold in the same time period, 1,683 to 1,785.

In Porter County, the year-to-date median sales price rose 3.1% compared to the same period in 2020, from $218,250 to $225,000, while the number of housing units sold slipped 0.6%, from 646 to 642.

The seven counties combined saw a 7.9% jump in median sales price during the same period, and a 7.3% hike in the number of housing units sold.
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