Januarys in South Bend Real Estate

by Nick Molnar on February 2, 2008

After I posted January’s monthly status of the South Bend Area real estate market report, an astute observer compared January’s sales statistics to last year’s numbers in the comments. I think such exercises are valuable, and would encourage taking an even longer view. I can access the area’s sales data back to 2002, so here are the figures for January sales in the South Bend-Mishawaka mls from 2002 – 2008. Draw your own conclusions.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

NDtom February 2, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I think these numbers mostly reflect the tighter lending standards and the fact that houses don’t always increase in value resulting which makes renting pretty darn attractive to many…..hope that is astute.


BG February 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I think it is tough to draw any type of conclusions because of the small size of the South Bend real estate market. With only a couple hundred transactions every month, outliers can greatly affect both the mean and the median price.

December 2007 is a good example of that. There was a low sales price of $3500 and a high sales price of $1.75 million.

If 2 of these houses under $10,000 sell in one month and then 20 sell the next month, it is going to look like the price of the “average home” dropped significantly when it really didn’t.

(Does the MLS software allow you to specify a minimum and maximum price when pulling the sales data? That would help eliminate the outliers.)

The drop in volume is concerning though. NDtom might be on to something with the tougher lending standards. I bought a rental house last April with 10% down. I called the same mortgage broker last week to see what rates are like because I am thinking about buying another one this year. The rates are better, but now there is a 20% down payment minimum on investment properties.


Observer2 February 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm

All indications are, the tougher (or more sane as the case may be) lending standards are bringing the market back to the norm. The highs of 2005 and 2006 won’t return anytime soon. Predictions are housing starts could drop another 25% in 2008 compared to the low 2007. The upside is with fewer housing starts (thanks to the banks) existing home sales will not fall as much as they otherwise would have…still not a rosy picture though. In the SB market, prices for quality built, reasonable homes aren’t going to decline much if at all.

The question is, how many of the new home builders in our area will go out of business? It is one thing to just not start new homes, it is another to be forced in bankruptcy. From what I have heard, there is one established major builder that is in very serious trouble. They got too big too fast and were dependent on and pushed easy financing. Their balance sheet is not good.


Florida Ouch February 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm

You wanna read something that will freak you out, then read about Lee County, Florida (see link below). Thank God we live in the midwest where if there are price declines, they will be modest. Would be nice if we had a thorough report like that for Michiana area…..hint, hint….



Carmac February 27, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I predict February home sales in Michiana will be down 25%+ in Feb 2008 versus 2007…even with the extra leap day! I await the post on 3/1.


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