This home by Place Builders in Newbury Pointe in Osceola already has been sold. The local real estate market is looking good moving into the spring selling season, but Realtors say it still favors those selling homes. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
This home by Place Builders in Newbury Pointe in Osceola already has been sold. The local real estate market is looking good moving into the spring selling season, but Realtors say it still favors those selling homes. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
Any worries about the possibility of higher interest rates and an economic expansion that might eventually fizzle haven’t been enough to soften the housing market throughout the region.

Moving into the home-buying season, about the only thing local Realtors are still complaining about is the continuing lack of inventory, especially in the more moderate price points of $100,000 to $250,000.

Through the end of the first quarter, the median sale price of homes rose 0.4 percent to $125,000 in St. Joseph County compared to $124,500 in the first quarter last year with the average seller getting 96.5 percent of their listing price. The average time on the market — from listing to closing — was 77 days compared to about 100 only a couple of years ago.

The story is similar throughout the region.

“The market is pretty exciting right now, but inventory is still constrained with more buyers than there are sellers” said John De Souza, president of Cressy & Everett Real Estate and immediate past president of the Indiana Association of Realtors.

“We have about two or two-and-a-half months of inventory,” said De Souza. “If we had about a six-month inventory, things would be more balanced.”

Others involved in residential real estate echoed those sentiments.

“We had a very bad January because of the Polar Vortex, but things really started picking up in March,” said Paul Gjemre, branch manager of the South Bend office of Coldwell Banker. “It’s definitely still a seller’s market. Houses are selling really fast if they’re priced right and in reasonably good shape.”

With interest rates expected to remain relatively stable through the remainder of the year — hovering just above and below 4 percent depending on the type of mortgage — no one is expecting the market to slowdown anytime soon.

“We’ve had borrowers getting outbid on multiple offers,” said Danny Conroy, residential mortgage manager at 1st Source Bank. “The process can move extremely fast on a desirable property.”

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