South Bend Real Estate Report: January 2009

by Nick Molnar on February 3, 2009

January is always a slower time for real estate in South Bend. Most years since 2001 it has been the slowest in terms of total volume of sales.  In January 2009, the 124 closed sales yielded a sales volume for the Greater South Bend-Mishawaka MLS that was just over $11.46 million. That is only the third month since August 2001 (the furthest back the computerized records for our mls reach)  that sales haven’t exceeded $20 million. The other months were January 2008 and November 2008. We’ve just had our most sluggish month in recent history, saleswise. One month ago (December 2008) had $22.61 million in sales and one year ago (January 2008) had $18.26 million.

The highest price sale in January 2009 was $750,000, at 51980 Meadow Ridge Court in Granger. It was listed for $865,000 in October 2008 and closed January 30th. The sellers appear to be the first owners since they bought it from Rans Custom Builders in March 2007. They also lost money on the sale. They paid $760,000 when they bought the house. They also paid Realtor and closing fees when they sold it.

The lowest price sale for January 2009 was $800, at 432 North Taylor Street in South Bend.  The mls remarks for the sale state “property under demo order per code,” and the house last sold for $14,000 in May of 2004.

There were two condo/townhouse type sales near Notre Dame:

  • The builders at Irish Crossings closed a sale at $422,795.
  • The seller of 1520 Wildflower Way in the North Shore Club accepted $114,000 for a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo, which had been on the market since September 2008.

Here are all the closed sales prices from the South Bend MLS in January 2009, at a glance:


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas February 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Looks like the sales are in a “depression” range. With the credit bubble burst, large purchases that require debt such as homes and autos have plummeted. The paradox of thrift is also worsening the current demand level.

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Dean February 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Not what I was hoping to hear. I plan to list my house this spring and was hoping for better news. The current market is nerve wracking. Do I list this year or hold out and see what happens next year?????

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Michelle February 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I was wondering if there were any closings at Stadium Village Townhomes? Their website says some have sold. Also curious at what prices….

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Sammy S February 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm

I’d wait until next year to sell your house if you have the luxury of waiting Dean. The whole mortgage financing things needs more time to shake out and settle down.

We like graphs, especially the graphs that show each year by month going back to 2001. One graph with nominal dollar sales per month and one with real dollars sales per month would be very very very interesting to compare.

I also say the Steve and Vanessa Smith article on CNN.com. Would be interested to know which developers or building bit the big BK in 2008 and in 2009.

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BG February 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

If Congress passes the new tax credit for homebuyers, that would really help.

Surprisingly the way it is written it will benefit those of us in “flyover country” more than it will those on the coasts. I believe the proposal will give a buyer a 10% tax credit on the purchase of a home up to a max of $15,000.

So on a $100,000 home in South Bend that will effectively make it $90,000. On a similar home in California that sells for $400,000 it will only effectively reduce the price to $385,000.

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Dean February 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Sammy S, I don’t have to sell this year but I do have to sell next year. I’m debating just putting it on the market and seeing what happens this spring. If there’s no action, I’ll just take it off and relist next spring. I’ll probably lose around $20K if I sell this year but will be able to recoup some of the loss by renting at a much lower cost. Who knows how much I’ll lose next year??? Owning a home is no longer the American Dream. It’s now the American Nightmare!

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Joe February 6, 2009 at 6:59 pm

BC – I think you have it wrong. As I understand tax credit – it means that you get to take 15,000 off your adjusted gross income. If your income is 100,000, the credit would adjust the amount you pay taxes on to 85,000. The savings is whatever your tax rate is times the 15,000 credit (as an example 15K x 20% would be 4,000 saved)

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Renter Tom February 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm

BG – The new tax credit for homebuyers is just a scam in an attempt to create demand now but it will cost demand later. Let the market work itself out and stop all the tax shell games. The responsible banks out there should be allowed to grow and thrive….they could buy up some of the large banks’ branches after those fail. The US had a bleak long term financial prognosis with all the social programs needing to be funded over the next 40 years but now we are barreling ahead into the brick wall even faster…..step on the gas. It is insanity, pure insanity. From $10 Trillion in federal debt to $16 Trillion by 2012???? That will put the US debt above our GDP! Crazy.

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Mary T February 8, 2009 at 2:56 am

Whatever happened to Woodbridge Villas??? I really like them but thought they were a bit over priced and sorta crammed in there next to Ironwood Drive if you had one that backed onto it. I had heard the developer was going bankrupt or the bank was or had taken it over? I feel bad for the building since they are a nice builder.

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BG February 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

Joe – What you are describing is a tax deduction. The bill passed by the Senate is a tax credit. I read some more on it to make sure I understood correctly, and it is even better than I thought. The tax credit can be split between two years, which will benefit taxpayers that don’t pay enough federal tax in one year to get the full credit.

Here is a link that gives some more details:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a30KUnGy1VEM&refer=home

Renter Tom – For the most part I agree with you. If I were in congress this is not a bill I would vote for. However, I don’t worry about what I cannot change. I just look at the laws and try to determine how they will affect me.

I do not think this bill will rob future demand very much. For the most part it will cause a lot of existing homeowners to shuffle houses. Some will upgrade, some will downsize. It will convince some renters to buy a home, but I don’t think there are many left who have decent credit that did not take advantage of the loose lending standards of a couple years ago.

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Nick Molnar February 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

At this point, it looks like the much discussed $15,000 tax credit won’t materialize. There is discussion of a smaller credit, along the lines of $7,500 for first time homebuyers. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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Dean February 13, 2009 at 6:23 pm

It looks like it’s going to be a tax credit of $8,000 that won’t have to be repaid. Not too bad.

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