Northwest Indiana once again bucked the national trend in existing home sales, with a year-over-year hike in the number of units sold in February.

Meanwhile, both the Region and the national market continued to see double-digit increases in year-over-year-median selling price.

Nationwide, sales dropped 2.4% in February compared to the same month in 2021, while the median sales price jumped 15%, to $357,300, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In Lake County, the median selling price of existing homes jumped 16.2% in February, from $185,000 to $215,000, according to the monthly housing report released by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

The number of existing housing units sold in Lake County — including single-family homes, condominiums, town houses and duplexes — rose 8.8%, from 388 to 422.

Porter County saw a 33.9% jump in median selling price year-over-year, from $209,900 to $281,000. The number of units sold increased 5.3%, from 133 to 140.

The seven counties covered by GNIAR combined — Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke and Pulaski — registered an 18.9% hike in median sale prices, from $185,000 to $220,000, and a 7.1% increase in units sold, from 647 to 693.

“February’s numbers, both in median sales price and units sold, were pretty substantial and February’s traditionally a slower month,” GNIAR CEO Peter Novak Jr., said.

Novak said he’s been reading articles that the market is beginning to slow down, but he thinks they’re somewhat misleading, noting the main problem is a lack of inventory.

“The theme here all of last year was we were seeing more existing homes going on the market, but they were getting sold quickly,” Novak said. “Maybe we’re a little behind the national market. Maybe ours will get slower. But not right now.”

An NAR news release reported the pending home sales index, which is based on contract signings, dropped 5.4% year-over-year in February, primarily due to the low number of homes for sale.

“Buyer demand is still intense, but it’s as simple as ‘one cannot buy what is not for sale,’” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Yun said climbing home prices and rising mortgage rates will likely make pending homebuyers want to lock in rates before they increase further.

As of February 2022, higher mortgage rates and sustained price appreciation has led to a year-over-year increase of 28% in mortgage payments, according to NAR.

“It is still an extremely competitive market, but fast changing conditions regarding affordability are ahead,” Yun said.
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