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Area homes sales rise for 11th straight month

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Sales of existing homes in the Indianapolis area continued trending upward in March, according to statistics released Friday afternoon by F.C. Tucker Co.

Purchase agreements in the nine-county area tracked by the real estate firm hit 2,327, a 4.9-percent increase over March 2011. Existing home sales were up 13.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and have shown year-over-year improvements for 11 straight months.

Pending sales were up 14.7 percent in February and 13.4 percent in January.

In Marion County, sales agreements climbed 7.6 percent, from 982 in March 2011 to 1,057 in March 2012. Pending sales rose 8.3 percent in Hamilton County, from 460 to 498.

Purchase agreements in Hendricks and Johnson counties, however, fell by 11.3 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Madison County saw a whopping 39-percent increase in March, with potential buyers reaching agreements on 146 homes.

Sales activity is ramping up, shrinking the number of available homes. Inventory in the nine-county area fell 12.1 percent over last March, to 13,079.

Inventory dropped 19.7 percent in Johnson County and 17.2 percent in Marion County.

“The market is slowly trending up, both nationally and here in central Indiana,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker, in a prepared statement. “We anticipate prices will continue to creep up as investors and first-time homebuyers compete for bargain-priced homes."

The average sale price in the area rose slightly, by 0.1 percent, to $139,136. About 89 percent of the area’s sales agreements in March involved homes priced at $299,000 or less. Agreements were reached on eight homes priced at more than $1 million.
 

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