If you’re planning on buying a home in Johnson County, you had better hope you’re the first person to make an offer.

Local homes are selling at a faster pace and a higher price than this time last year. And while the amount of houses for sale across the county is scarce, the number of people looking to buy a home is increasing.

“I’ve experienced it. You show someone a home, and it’s gone before the person can make an offer,” said Rob Campbell, sales associate at ReMax. “Homes that are priced $250,000 or below are getting offers quicker than I’ve ever seen in my career. I’ve never seen anything close to this.”

Across central Indiana, home sales are up 14 percent compared to this time last year. And Johnson County is one of the strongest of the central Indiana counties.

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From February through April of this year, Johnson County’s home sales have increased by 10 percent, compared to the same time last year, according to the MIBOR Realtor Association.

“We have the lowest inventory that we have had in years. We’re selling about twice as many as we are listing,” said Tom Johnson, sales manager at F.C. Tucker’s Greenwood office. “It’s pretty widespread all across Johnson County, but northern Johnson County has probably the highest demand.”

In Greenwood, the reasons for higher demand for homes centers around the easy accessibility to highways and Interstate 65, real estate officials said. School districts across the county and amenities, such as Freedom Springs Greenwood Aquatics Park, are also drawing young families, officials said.

The demand is not exclusive to Greenwood — Franklin is also a strong market, Johnson said. And in Whiteland, Johnson has had three offers for one house all in the same day, Johnson said.

The southeast side of Greenwood, near Whiteland, continues to be a hot spot for home sales, officials said. And much of the reason for it is due to the newly added I-65 interchange at Worthsville Road.

“At the end of the day, it’s the convenience of being by downtown and near I-65,” said Mike Duncan, owner of Mike Duncan Real Estate Group. “There’s strong growth toward the I-65 corridor along Whiteland Road in the newer subdivisions.”

Johnson County is having more success than counties north of Indianapolis because of the price of the homes and cost of living is less expensive and commute time to downtown is shorter, Duncan said.

The $100,000 to $250,000 price range is the hottest in the housing market, but once you start getting near $350,000, home sales aren’t as strong, officials said.

The average sale price of a home in Johnson County is about $155,000. That average price is up by about $13,000 compared to this time last year. The average price of a home here went up more than Hendricks, Hamilton and Hancock counties, according to MIBOR.

The price is increasing as the demand goes up. More people are selling because of the market climate, Johnson said.

With the increase in price and home sales, real estate agents would like to see more houses on the market this summer, when buyer demand is always highest.

“This is always the (busiest) time of the year. A decently priced house, in good condition, it just doesn’t last,” Johnson said.

At a glance

Here is a look at the change in home sales for each of the central Indiana counties and the average sale price from February to April of this year, compared to the same time period last year:

County;percentage change;average cost of home

Boone;11 percent increase;$245,000

Hancock;8 percent increase;$146,000

Hamilton;2 percent increase;$225,000

Hendricks;7 percent increase;$162,450

Johnson;10 percent increase;$155,000

Marion;9 percent increase;$123,000

Morgan;12 percent increase;$135,000

Shelby;4 percent decrease;$108,000


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Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.