ANDERSON — The local real estate market showed an uncanny resilience in bouncing back from a spring downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Year-end statistics compiled by the Metro Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR) showed that a total of 1,756 single-family units were sold in Madison County in 2020, an increase of 1.8% from 2019. But more remarkable, some Realtors said, was the pace at which the local market recovered from the lockdowns during April and May that brought sales — and even inquiries — to a near standstill.
“It’s shocking, actually,” said Jada Sparks, an agent with Carpenter Realtors in Anderson. “I think the entire real estate community was ready to hunker down and deal with what looked to be at that point in time a lengthy slowdown due to the pandemic conditions. But by May our year-to-date numbers were already surpassing the 2019 year-to-date numbers.”
More than 300 single-family homes hit the market in May and June, when state-recommended lockdowns gradually began to ease. Those homes sold quickly, spending an average of just over a month on the market, a sign of pent-up demand which kept agents juggling available inventory and, in some cases, placing buyers on waiting lists.
“People still have plenty of money to spend, which is encouraging,” said Shelley Binney, an agent with The Real Estate Pros of Keller Williams in Pendleton. “It’s amazing how much inventory has dropped, and with it interest rates are dipping really low.”
Even with a slight uptick in the first few weeks of the new year, interest rates on all three primary types of home loans — 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM — remain below 3%, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s a key factor in enticing house hunters to get into the market, even as median home prices continue to climb.
“Our interest rates are as low as practically they’ve ever been,” Sparks said. “Low interest rates are driving our buyers to continue to want to buy, even when our prices are appreciating.”