EDC director reviews local housing statistics

File photo | Pended home sales increased by 14.7 percent in July 2019 in Decatur County as compared to July 2018, average home sale prices also increased by 11.8 percent to $149,729, and active listings rose from 77 to 92 (19.5 percent increase). The local EDC, the city and county continue to work on addressing housing needs in the area.

GREENSBURG – Numbers recently released from F.C. Tucker Company has shed some light on the housing market in Decatur County.

According to the latest numbers, pended home sales increased by 14.7 percent in July 2019 in Decatur County as compared to July 2018, average home sale prices also increased by 11.8 percent to $149,729, and active listings rose from 77 to 92 (a 19.5 percent increase).

Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Bryan Robbins offered his thoughts after reviewing the numbers.

“I think the first impression is that Decatur County continues to be an active market,” Robbins said. “The fact that prices continue to increase as the active listings increase, coupled with some other stats from MIBOR (Realtor Association) showing an 11 percent decrease in average days a home is on the market (from 67 days to 59 days) and local sellers receiving an average of over 97 percent of their asking price, it all demonstrates that the community is experiencing growth and there is more potential.”

The one aspect of the report that caught Robbins’ attention was the fact that active listings were up.

“The increase in listings surprises me as I continue to hear that we need more diverse housing, but I'm sure there are some sellers out there seeing the activity and simply wanting to test the waters,” Robbins said.

Robbins and the city acknowledge that they are in the business of bringing people to Greensburg and Decatur County. Robbins gave an update on that mission.

“Last year was a good year for housing permits in Greensburg, eclipsing the previous two years combined, but we've seen a slowdown in permitting with the city so far this year,” he said. “However, this could simply be a lull before the next round of construction takes place.”

The local EDC and other city and county entities continue to address the need for more homes in the area. Robbins said that initiative comes down to a number of things.

“I think the city and county have tried to facilitate the construction of new homes as much as they can within the rules they have, but each continues to explore other ways of creating a favorable environment for the housing types we want and need,” Robbins said. “That could include looking at incentives and programs other communities have used to successfully attract specific sectors of the population or investments.”

Robbins has an idea of where he’d like to see the city and county go from here.

“I think there are some creative incentives and programs out there, and have shared some of them with the powers that be,” Robbins said. “But as with any incentive, we need to be careful not to set a precedent and thus make a privilege the norm. We should set standards to be met, be clear in what the community wants to see, and work with participants accordingly so there can be a mutual benefit for all parties.”

Overall, statistics from F.C. Tucker Company indicate a decrease in inventory as sale prices continue to climb.

F.C. Tucker tracks the following counties: Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Decatur, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Morgan, Putnam and Shelby.

In July 2019, pended sales increased 5 percent as compared to July 2018, while average year-to-date sale prices increased 4.5 percent. In July 2019, 3,966 central Indiana homes were purchased, up from 3,778 sold in July 2018.

CEO of F.C. Tucker Company Jim Litten offered his thoughts on the home inventory numbers from across the state.

“Home inventory in Indiana remains tight, making it an ideal market for sellers,” Litten said. “However, a good selection of homes at varying price points exists, so home buyers should not be deterred as they begin their housing search.”

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Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x7401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com.