Total new-home closings: 4,207 
Population: 1,971,274

The good: Hendricks and Marion counties, where activity increased in the first part of 2015.
The bad: A relatively flat market that’s overshadowed by stagnant job growth.
The bottom line: Even with the market relatively flat in early 2015 and receding in the usual hot spot (Hendricks County), a market this large is going to produce plenty of opportunity, especially when builders focus on areas with increased activity.

Year-to-date permit numbers were up 4% year over year in March 2015 and unemployment remained low at around 5.5%, but that’s about as exciting as the news got for the new-home market in early 2015 around Indianapolis. With below-average job growth casting a slight shadow on 2015’s peak season and annual starts over the 12-month period ending the first quarter of 2015 showing a 0.6% year-over-year decrease, Metrostudy forecasts call for a leveling among closings. And with the number of finished and vacant homes decreasing in the first quarter of 2015, builders show they’re thinking in the same direction. Nonetheless, by reflecting on 2014 and moving into the right areas, builders may still capitalize on pockets of increased activity. Amid the first quarter of 2015, activity squeezed out of the usual hot spot in Hamilton County—where an 18.3% year-over-year decrease in starts registered—and into Hendricks and Marion counties, which posted 58.4% and 20.2% year-over-year increases, respectively.