As I'm sure you've seen in newspapers and on TV, the national real estate market is falling in 2006. The national average of home sales is down, so people always ask me, "How is the Northwest Indiana real estate market doing?" It's an easy answer... great!

It's important to remember that real estate is a local market driven by local conditions. You also need to remember that if the national AVERAGE is down, that means that some areas must still be doing well... that includes Northwest Indiana.

More homes will be sold in Northwest Indiana this year than ever before. And in most communities, sellers are getting more for their home than in 2004 and 2005. Here is a look at how some major Northwest Indiana communites are doing.

KEY: HS: Homes Sold; DOM: Days on the Market; ASP: Average Sales Price

Community 2004 HS 2004 DOM 2004 ASP 2005 HS 2005 DOM 2005 ASP 2006 HS 2006 DOM 2006 ASP
Hammond* 420 73 $79,874 449 72 $84,479 528 70 $81,124
Griffith 123 63 $126,171 153 60 $131,610 157 65 $132,521
Highland 167 57 $142,966 226 63 $148,435 247 70 $142,023
Munster 222 78 $230,476 215 79 $232,871 230 74 $238,615
Dyer 143 67 $204,581 185 73 $206,951 179 74 $230,617
Schererville 380 72 $187,678 405 67 $203,709 410 76 $217,351
St. John 108 94 $212,313 122 76 $257,327 135 85 $291,186
Cedar Lake 139 86 $132,843 123 98 $159,145 168 76 $181,789
Crown Point 385 75 $165,718 448 72 $181,271 430 70 $192,965
Winfield** 91 95 $211,179 146 99 $227,363 81 134 $244,826
LOFS** 110 95 $154,543 166 83 $159,385 122 88 $189,465
Merrillville 439 72 $114,644 379 77 $119,222 479 59 $122,570
Hobart 357 87 $122,519 367 79 $129,997 406 81 $136,351
Valparaiso 492 85 $176,420 528 79 $189,392 486 81 $192,504

Data is from GNIAR MLS: January 1-September 20 of 2004, 2005 & 2006.

*Hammond includes MLS Areas: Hammond North & Hammond South

**LOFS: Lakes of the Four Seasons (not included in Winfield Township information)

What does this mean? In most markets the Days on the Market is about the same (give or take a few days). The only market with a huge increase in DOM is Winfield, but home values are continuing to rise. Only two markets, Hammond and Highland, saw a decrease in home values from 2005 to 2006. And both Merrillville and Cedar Lake are seeing a decrease in days on the market... homes are selling faster in those two communities than in 2004 and 2005.

Bottom line... if you're thinking about selling your home two things ring true: 1) YOUR HOME MUST BE PRICED RIGHT! When you overprice, you miss your buyer. 2) YOUR HOME MUST BE MARKETED CORRECTLY! You need to find ways to make your home stand out from all the other homes on the market. I know my team does both of those well, call or email me anytime and we'll be happy to help you get your home sold!