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Area home sales, prices continue to improve

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Home-sale agreements and prices in the nine-county Indianapolis area continue to improve from year-ago levels, according to F.C. Tucker Co.

Pending home sales in March climbed 10.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, rising from 2,268 to 2,509, the Indianapolis-based real estate brokerage said Monday.

The increase followed a 26-percent jump in February, when pending sales rose from 1,574 to 1,993.

“Pended home sales in central Indiana have steadily increased each month in 2010,” Tucker President Jim Litten said in a prepared statement. “We hope this trend continues throughout the spring homebuying season as Hoosiers take advantage of the final days of the federal tax credits and continued low mortgage rates.”

Federal law extended an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers that was to have expired in late November. It now covers homes purchased or under contract through April 30. It also created a $6,500 tax break for existing homeowners who have lived in their current residence for at least five years.

Pending home sales in March increased 20.3 percent in Hamilton County and 10.6 percent in Marion County, compared with the same month a year ago. Overall, eight of the nine counties in the metropolitan area, excluding Boone, saw home-sale agreements rise last month.

Meanwhile, home prices in Marion County showed the most improvement within the nine-county metropolitan area. Prices in the county jumped 17.4 percent in March, to $105,616, compared with the same time last year.

Hancock (14.8 percent), Morgan (13.7 percent) and Hamilton (10.6 percent) counties also reported double-digit increases in sale prices last month.

Overall, the average home price in the nine-county area rose 12.1 percent, to $139,533.
 

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