South Bend Real Estate Sales Report: March 2009

by Nick Molnar on March 31, 2009

South Bend Area Sales Statistics

After the two months with the lowest numbers in recent history, sale volume for the Greater South Bend – Mishawaka MLS is up for March 2009. January and February saw sales of a bit over $11 million each month. March brought 191 sales and $17.17 million in volume. 

The lowest price sale in March was $4,500 and the most expensive $450,000. 85 sales were under $50,000 and 6 were over $250,000. Here’s a graph of the closing price of every sale.


Notre Dame Condos

Just one condo near Notre Dame sold in March. It was a furnished second-story Jamison condo with two bedrooms and a loft. It closed at $127,500 despite similar condos selling around $160,000 in 2007 and 2008. 

None of the higher price, new condos or townhomes appear to have closed a sale in March. Several builders that target the Notre Dame market are raising commissions and offering upgrades to buyers in an attempt to spur sales.


South Bend’s March 2009 Real Estate Sales in Context 

March sales were up considerably from last month, but put into larger context the numbers are still far lower than anything we’ve seen as far back as our MLS electronic records reach. Below is a striking visual demonstration of where we’ve been and where we are.

This isn’t a chart of home values, it’s more of a speedometer for the market. I’ll leave pricing and value for another post. But the speed, the volume, the number of sales is down markedly from the past. 


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

CJ April 1, 2009 at 12:41 am

I had heard showings and other activities were up …. starting in February. Those closings start to show up in March so that is good. Great graph Nick! Would you say sales dollar volume is down 40% from peak boom year of 2006? Or is it closer to 50%? The last 6 months have been a killer.

There are two projects to watch near ND. Ivy Quad and the first phase of Eddy Street Commons. For me, the real surprise was the stock market declines which spooked even the wealthy to pull back causing the enthusiasm to buy an extra home to dry up. Gone are the days of capital appreciation covering the costs of owning plus a profit.

South Bend remains a very very affordable market. It could be worse….Detroit or Elkhart!

Best wishes.


Nick Molnar April 1, 2009 at 12:49 am

The highest March on record was 2005, at $37.64 million. March 2009 is down about 54% from that year, and about 32% from 2008, by volume.

Here are some photos and basic details for the Jamison condo that sold in March. It’s quite similar to a number of units in Oak Hill, though the Jamison condos have never been as popular as Oak Hill with students and are mostly owned by occasional visitors.


CJ April 1, 2009 at 12:42 am

Oh, any link to the Jamison condo that sold? Would like to see pictures to compare with some of the Oak Hill listings which are of the same design. Thanks.


Dean April 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

There’s been a fair amount of action in my subdivision. Three houses have gone pending after only being on the market for a couple of weeks. But there are also a few that have been on the market since last summer.


JL April 1, 2009 at 11:43 am

A concern is that barely anything above $250k has been selling.

Between more expensive homes not selling and short sales, the average sale price numbers accross the country create a false sense of prices dropping rapidly for buyers.


Dean April 1, 2009 at 3:41 pm

JL, You’re right on the money. Just look at all of the $0-50K sales. I’m guessing that 90%+ of those were bought by flippers or rental companies. I can’t imagine there are a lot of quality single family homes in that price range. When our house was inspected earlier this month, our inspector said that February was his busiest month in the eight years he has been in business. He said most of his business was from investors buying the low dollar houses.


CJ April 1, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Nick – Thanks for posting the link…..that looks to be a one bedroom with loft unit (upper end units), not a two bedroom with loft (upper middle units). Also, looks like Oak Hill is stagnant with 10+ units for sale on mls and by owner which is surprising since there is limited choice near campus at these price points. Interestingly there is a Jamison House condo for sale too (at least one) even though the access stuff has never been figured out but I guess as long as a buyer is OK with that then guess it is OK.


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