Comparing Urban Housing Markets

May 16, 2024, 9:23 a.m. Deep dive

Four out of five Hoosier households live in a county that is part of a metropolitan area, regions defined by the Census Bureau as a core large city and surrounding counties that are socially and economically integrated. Indiana's 15 metro areas have diverse market trends, and we explore those using the latest April 2024 data.

Sales

Half of Indiana's metro areas have positive year-over-year sales growth for the period from February to April, and they all range from the US-31 corridor to the eastern part of the state. South Bend and Elkhart have the fastest sales growth, at 16%. Muncie had 15% sales growth. Muncie and Elkhart are both emerging from a period of steep sales decline (-6% and -8% respectively) in the previous three months.

Michigan City, on the other hand, saw sales climb 21% in the winter (Nov. to Jan.) but spring sales are down 9% year-over-year. This stems from dismal February, but sales growth turned positive in April (+23% year-over-year).

The Indianapolis metro had over 7,000 sales between February and April, which is down 1% compared to last year. Sales this March could not keep pace with a spike in 2023, but April showed positive year-over-year growth. (The Indianapolis metro area includes Marion County, the eight "donut counties", and Putnam and Brown counties.)

Some areas have reason for optimism despite middling sales in the past three months. Sales in Evansville increased 90% last week compared to the previous week—the average increase for all metros was 25%—and in Bloomington sales jumped 73%. Sales tripled in Columbus last week, making up for a few slow weeks in April. In the Indianapolis region, sales grew by 25% week-over-week.

Listings

Most metros experienced year-over-year growth in the number of homes listed for sale between February and April. In South Bend, home listings grew by 22%. Lafayette, Fort Wayne, Elkhart, Muncie, and Terre Haute experienced growth in listings at about twice the statewide rate of 6%.

However, three metros have fewer home listings than a year ago: Columbus, Bloomington, and the Chicago region. Despite adding fewer listings to the market, Bloomington and the Chicago region have more inventory available per household than other metros across the state. In Bloomington, there were an average of 6.0 listings available in April for every 1,000 households. In Chicago there were 4.7 per 1,000 households, compared to the state average of 3.8.

New listings in metro areas grew by 5% week-over-week for the week beginning April 29. In the Indianapolis region, new listings grew by 7%. In Bloomington, new listings jumped 57%, from 49 the previous week to 77 the week of April 29. That is more listings than any week in 2023.

Price

Bloomington was the most expensive metro area in the past three months. (The Bloomington metro area includes Monroe County and Owen County.) In fact, Bloomington overtook the Indianapolis metro in February 2024 as the metro area with the highst monthly median sale price. Several counties within the Indianapolis region have a higher median sale price—Hamilton, Brown, Boone, and Henricks are the most expensive counties in the state—but the region as a whole had a median sale price of $295,000 from February to April. In the Bloomington region, the median price was $311,667—this is 13% higher than the same period one year ago.

The fastest growth in sales price belongs to Michigan City and Kokomo, with 16% and 15% year-over-year price growth. Every metro area except Elkhart had year-over-year price growth during this period. In Elkhart, prices declined by 3%. Price growth in the Indianapolis region was 5%, slightly higher than the 4% statewide price growth.

Listing prices have climbed steeply in the Indianapolis region, reaching $334,000 over the past three weeks. These are the highest listing prices in the state and indicate that median sale price should be in the $320s during the summer peak. Already, median sale price set a record of $323,000 during the week of April 29.

Muncie has the lowest median listing price, and it's flat over the past nine weeks. This could mean that median sales price does not match last summer's peak. With listing price hovering around $159,000, expect sales prices to average in the low $150s in coming weeks.

Go deeper

Report Metro Area Table: 3-Month/12-Month Report Report Metro Area Table: Monthly Market Report