Keepin’ it real estate 🏡

Real estate experts explain what Indy home buyers should know and predict whether we’ll see prices continue to rise in 2023.

Aerial image of dowtown during sunset

Spoiler alert: if you’re interested in buying a home, don’t wait around.

Photo via @aaron.creates

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There aren’t enough flame emojis on the internet to describe the Indy housing market. In November, the median home in Marion County sold for $231,945, a 13.1% jump from November 2021. Yowza. 🔥

Prices show few signs of cooling off, as Indianapolis was included in a list of cities that could see the sharpest increases in 2023. But for those hoping to dip their toes in the home buying waters soon, it helps to know what trends to expect. Put on your floaties, and let’s hear what the local experts predict.

Look out for smaller neighborhoods

While the real estate market in Indy erupted in 2022, landing the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area No. 4 on Realtor.com’s list of “Top 10 Housing Markets Positioned for Growth in 2022,” it’s unclear whether that will remain the case in the coming year. If HGTV shows are any indication of growth, home buying in the Bates-Hendricks and Kennedy-King neighborhoods could increase, thanks to the ladies behind “Good Bones” and Mike Epps, who is expected to get his own show soon.

Don’t give up on Indy

Deb Kent, president of Gallery of Homes Real Estate, said an undervalued and possibly great place for home buyers to explore is the east side, especially in 46219. “Whether you love mid-century modern ranches or vintage Craftsman, the east side has among the most affordable homes in the metro Indy area,” Deb said.

If you’re looking for a small-town vibe and a walkable area, Irvington is a great option, according to Deb. Warren Park and Community Heights also have quieter streets and plenty of mid-century modern ranches, where you can get “more house for the money” and lower property taxes.

Worth it to wait?

Deb says, “Not really.” If you can afford to buy now and you’ve lined up your pre-approval, you should go for it. She advises against waiting because interest rates, inflation, or the global economy are hard to predict. Her advice? “Instead of waiting to buy, search for houses that have had price drops, or simply keep your eye on a property and see if it drops over the coming weeks.” And if you’re waiting to find that “unicorn property” (Think: a house with a horse barn and a four-car garage on five acres inside city limits), jump on it, as they tend to go quickly regardless of price.

What about renting?

“The rental situation unfortunately continues to worsen,” says Deb. Her reasoning is that because there aren’t a ton of houses on the market and interest rates are up at around 7%, fewer Hoosiers are in a position to buy so there are more people looking to rent. At the same time, monthly rents have increased higher than ever. Plus, Indy ranks at No. 3 on a list of the “Fastest Metro-Level Rent Growthover the past six months, following Cincinnati and St. Louis.

Eyeing WFH pads

Deb mentioned that the work-from-home trend has had a profound impact on the market, especially for couples. Due to many companies shifting policies regarding working remotely, buyers are looking for three rooms instead of two so they can have a home office. Deb jokes that “even the happiest couples don’t want to be velcroed together now that they’re both working at home.” Hot market bonus spaces include finished basements, enclosed four-season porches, and finished attics.

Welcome to the Circle City

A trend Deb has noticed across the entire housing market is a tremendous investment in Indy real estate by people who don’t live in the city — or even the US. As Indy is known by investors as an affordable area compared to other major cities, Deb says she gets regular calls from out-of-country investors looking for off-market deals, though she only works with local investors.

Transit-oriented housing rolling forward

Another trend to watch for 2023: transit-oriented development is on track to grow in the new year. There are several projects in line for TIF funding, including the site of the former Broad Ripple Kroger, the former Fountain Square White Castle operations center, and the Lofts on Meridian Street. These developments alone could account for 606 affordable housing units. There are a number of benefits to this type of planning, like broadening access to opportunity, reducing household expenses, and making efficient use of land and infrastructure.

Deb also noted that Lift Indy picked the East 38th Street Corridor for a $3.5 million investment, which could spur growth in that area, as well.

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