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BusINess » Real Estate

Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Biz Buzz, Fall 2010

>> CROWN POINT

NICU coming to local hospital this fall

A neonatal intensive care unit is scheduled to open in the fall at Saint Anthony Medical Center, 1201 South Main Street.

The 12-bed unit, slated to open in November, will be housed in the hospital’s maternity department, called the Birth Place. Staff will include neonatalogists and specially trained nurses.

“This is something we have wanted for years,” said Carol Schuster, vice president of patient services. “With our number of annual deliveries now up to around 1,600, we are able to justify the need and better serve our parents and their babies.”
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NWI home sales take late summer swoon

Northwest Indiana home sales plunged 20.4 percent in August as compared to sales one year ago but increased slightly from July, when expiration of homebuyer tax credits ended a string of strong monthly sales gains, according to data from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

In all, 538 home sales closed last month in the five counties covered by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, as compared to 678 sales closings in August 2009.

Still, that decline was smaller than the 31.6 percent year-over-year decline in July. Home sales in August climbed 4.7 percent from July’s depressed numbers.

There is still plenty of interest in homes for sale, but buyers are now slower to pull the trigger even though deals abound, according to Minakshi Ghuman, a Realtor with Century 21 Pace Estates in Valpraiso.
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Northwest Indiana home sales slump in July

Northwest Indiana existing single-family home sales fell sharply in July, as the effects of home buyer tax credits finally waned.

Sales tumbled 31.6 percent in July as compared to the same month one year ago in the five counties covered by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, according to association figures.

The plunge in sales follows two months of strong sales locally, as home buyers raced to cash in on home buyer tax credits worth up to $8,000 by closing deals, according to Larry Hitz, broker/owner of Prudential Executive Group Real Estate, in Valparaiso.

With the boost from the tax credits, sales so far this year in Lake and Porter counties were on a par with sales in 2008. It marked the first time in several years that year-to-date home sales had not fallen from the year before, Hitz said.
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NWI homes sales remain strong

A sign welcomes visitors to a home for sale in Portage. The last month of home buyer tax credits helped power home sales in April, while historically low interest rates and moderate pricing continue to support sales. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

A sign welcomes visitors to a home for sale in Portage. The last month of home buyer tax credits helped power home sales in April, while historically low interest rates and moderate pricing continue to support sales. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Sales of existing homes in Northwest Indiana took another surprising jump despite the expiration of homebuyer tax credits two months before.

Home sales increased 23.3 percent in June as compared to sales one year ago, and they increased 18.2 percent from May’s strong numbers, according to sales data from the five counties covered by the Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

“It is surprising, to tell you the truth,” said Minakshi Ghuman, a Realtor with Century 21 Pace Estates in Valparaiso. “At the same time, there are a lot of factors working together to boost sales.”
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NWI home sales surge in May

Realtor Judy Fischer shows an upscale home to Justin Koenig, of Valparaiso. Northwest Indiana Realtors are still seeing an increase in homes sales. (Photograph by The Times.)

Realtor Judy Fischer shows an upscale home to Justin Koenig, of Valparaiso. Northwest Indiana Realtors are still seeing an increase in homes sales. (Photograph by The Times.)

Buyers continued to snap up existing single-family homes in Northwest Indiana in May, with overall sales up 34.1 percent as compared to one year ago, a figure more than double the increase recorded nationally, according to the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

The effects of the homebuyer tax credit were still being felt in May, according to Realtor Judy Fischer, of Century 21 Pace Estates in Valparaiso. Although buyers needed to sign a purchase contract by the end of April to take advantage of the credit, they do not have to close on the deal until the end of this month.

In perhaps even a better sign for the long-term health of the housing market, a broader range of buyers is shopping, with interest reviving in high-end homes in the $400,000 to $600,000 range, Fischer said.
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Pete Novak

(Photograph by Lauri Dykhuis.)

(Photograph by Lauri Dykhuis.)

In 2004 newly elected Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. made a leap of faith and installed a 25-year old still in college as his chief of staff.

At the time, Pete Novak was juggling his job as a mortgage broker with finance and accounting classes at Purdue University Calumet and had just finished a stint as McDermott’s campaign treasurer.

“That is probably the best practical experience I’ve ever had,” Novak says of his time working in city government, first as chief of staff to McDermott and then heading up the city’s Department of Planning and Development. “It got me thinking about the how and why of things,” he adds.

He says McDermott placing his faith in a youngster with little experience is a pattern that has repeated itself throughout his varied career. After attending Ball State for just one year, the 19-year-old Novak was brought into the red-hot mortgage industry by banker cousin Pete Sokolovich.

Working at the home-lending arm of the major bank where his cousin was an executive in Arizona, Novak describes a “boiler-room” environment of men all older than himself “who made lots of money.”
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Tax credit rush propels April home sales

A sign welcomes visitors to a home for sale in Portage. The last month of home buyer tax credits helped power home sales in April, while historically low interest rates and moderate pricing continue to support sales. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

A sign welcomes visitors to a home for sale in Portage. The last month of home buyer tax credits helped power home sales in April, while historically low interest rates and moderate pricing continue to support sales. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

With a big boost from expiring home-buyer tax credits, home sales in Northwest Indiana blossomed in April, with buyers snatching up homes at a pace not seen since the housing boom.

Existing single-family home sales were up 50.4 percent in the five counties covered by the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, with a total of 787 homes sold as compared to 510 in April 2009.

The last month of home buyer tax credits helped power home sales in April, but that strength has continued right into May, said Minakshi Ghuman, a Realtor with Century 21 Pace Estates, in Valparaiso.
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National home construction up, building permits fall

Construction of new homes rose more than expected in April but new building permits fell sharply, signaling the industry’s rebound could be short-lived.

The results show builders ramped up to meet demand from buyers seeking to take advantage of federal tax incentives, but are now scaling back their plans.

Building permits, a gauge of future activity, sank 11.5 percent to an annual rate of 606,000, the lowest since October 2009, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Analysts were expecting a slight dip to a rate of 680,000.
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Home sales show some spring snap

A for-sale sign is posted Thursday outside a home in Valparaiso. Thanks in part to homebuyer tax credits and an improving economy, home sales in Northwest Indiana in March spiked. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

A for-sale sign is posted Thursday outside a home in Valparaiso. Thanks in part to homebuyer tax credits and an improving economy, home sales in Northwest Indiana in March spiked. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Home sales and median sales prices rose steeply in Northwest Indiana in March, powered by the looming expiration of homebuyer tax credits and an improving economy.

Existing single-family home sales rose 19.4 percent in March as compared to sales in March 2009, according to figures from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. The median selling price moved up to $125,000, a 13.6 percent increase over a year ago.

“A lot of people are hoping to get in on the tax credits, so we are getting a lot of activity,” said Rebecca Waldron, a Realtor with Century 21 Pace Estates in Valparaiso.
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Homebuyers scramble as mortgage rates jump

The era of record-low mortgage rates is over.

The average rate on a 30-year loan has jumped from about 5 percent to more than 5.3 percent in just the past week. As mortgages get more expensive, more would-be homeowners are priced out of the market—a threat to the fragile recovery in the housing market.

And if you wanted to refinance at a super-low rate, you may have missed your chance. Rates under 4 percent are still available, but only for loans that reset in five or seven years, probably to higher rates.

For people putting their homes on the market this spring, rising rates may actually be a good thing. Buyers are racing to complete their purchases and lock in something decent before rates go even higher.
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