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Area home sales rise for 20th straight month

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Home-sale agreements in the nine-county Indianapolis area jumped 12.2 percent in December, marking a 20th straight month of gains and capping off a strong year for residential real estate.

Overall, home-sale agreements rose 17.3 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, Indianapolis-based real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. Inc. said Tuesday morning.

Purchase agreements for existing homes totaled 1,490 in December, 162 more than reported in December 2011. Every county in the area except Hancock, Morgan and Shelby reported an increase, F.C. Tucker said.

Madison County saw the largest increase in pended home sales in December on a percentage basis, gaining 50 percent. Johnson County rose 45 percent, with 159 homes sold, and Marion rose about 12 percent, with 684 homes sold. 

The homes-for-sale inventory fell 18.1 percent in December, with 10,116 homes on the market, more than 2,200 fewer than the same time in 2011.

The tight inventory helped support an uptick in prices. The average sales price in 2012 was $155,879, an increase of 2.8 percent over 2011, Tucker reported. Morgan County led the way with a 14 percent increase in home sale prices, to an average of $145,193. Marion County saw the average price rise 3.6 percent, to $118,469.

Every county except for Hamilton recorded an increase in average selling prices for 2012. Hamilton saw prices fall 2.7 percent, to $247,180, the priciest average in the metro area.

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