Last week, I shared some of the 2009 market data for Porter and Lake County, Indiana. The statistics were tabulated via the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (GNIAR MLS). This week, I would like to concentrate a little closer on the market data for some of the larger cities in Northwest Indiana. Family and friends frequently present questions, asking what city has the most sales velocity and where is the market moving. I hope that you find the data interesting!
•In Porter County, 55% of home sales came from Valparaiso (811 out of 1,465, total). Portage ranks second in the amount of homes sold in the county, with 240 (16%) this past year. Chesterton ranked third, with 138 (9%) homes sold last year. These percentages are fairly close to 2008, with Valparaiso sales representing 53% of the market in the county, Portage at 18%, and Chesterton at 12%. There were 1,629 homes sold in Porter County in 2008.
•In Lake County, 16% of home sales came from Crown Point (671 out of 4,259, total). Hammond ranks second in the amount of homes sold in the county, with 615 (14%) this past year. Merrillville ranked third, with 392 (9%) homes sold last year. The percentages are almost identical to 2008, with Crown Point the same, and Hammond and Merrillville down only 1%, versus 2009. There were 4,648 homes sold in Lake County in 2009.
•In Porter County, Chesterton had the highest average selling price in 2009, with each home averaging $206,283.00. This figure was down 9% compared to the average selling price in 2008. Valparaiso was second in the county, with each home averaging $194,166.00. This figure was down 1.5%, compared to 2008.
•In Lake County, St. John had an impressive average selling price of $266,346.00 in 2009. This figure was down 6.5% compared to the average selling price in 2008. Winfield ($227,287.00), Dyer ($205,122.00), and Crown Point ($188,968.00) were second, third, and fourth, respectively. Each of these three cities saw a drop of almost 10% in their average selling price compared to 2008.
While there are a lot of numbers to digest above, Valparaiso and Crown Point continue to lead their county in the number of homes sold. Both cities have excellent school systems, a vibrant downtown atmosphere, retail and restaurants that appeal to the public, and good access/transportation for Chicago commuters.
Friends commonly ask why there are so many more sales in Lake County versus Porter County. When you consider U.S. Census data, the total amount of housing units, the total amount of businesses, population, and even building permits are all basically 3:1 in favor of Lake County. Also, the proximity to Cook County and the City of Chicago is very appealing to many people who work in Illinois.
In closing, there are many factors that can and should play into the decision of the new homeowner when considering where to move or build. Some of the larger cities in Lake and Porter County will offer great amenities, such as public facilities, retail, and restaurants. Some of the smaller cities will offer a quaint, charming, and nostalgic feel to hometown America. Jump in the car with the family, and see what living in Northwest Indiana has to offer to you!