September was a strong month for the Indianapolis area's housing market, as building permits for new construction and pending sales of existing homes both jumped substantially.
In the nine-county metropolitan area, the number of home-construction permits filed last month rose to 276, an increase of 22 percent from the same month in 2010, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.
At the same time, home-sale agreements in the area rose 5.1 percent from September 2010, the fifth straight month of year-over-year increases. Sales agreements climbed to 1,634 last month, an increase of 80 over the same time last year, according to a report released Friday by F.C. Tucker Co.
Year-to-date sales agreements are down 2.7 percent from the same period in 2010.
The same holds true for building activity. Through the first nine months of the year, the number of filings remains 3 percent below last year’s level. A total of 2,862 permits have been filed through September.
In Marion County, 46 single-family building permits were filed last month, but that was still an improvement of 18 percent over September 2010. The county saw a 9.2-percent increase in September sales agreements from a year earlier, from 682 to 745.
The number of Hamilton County sales agreements rose 1.7 percent, from 292 to 297. The number of home-construction permits increased 12 percent, from 90 to 101. Permits also rose 12 percent in Hendricks County, from 41 to 46, while sales agreements increased 14.8 percent, from 142 to 163.
Available homes for sale in the nine-county region dropped 13.6 percent in September, with 14,595 houses on the market. Marion County's inventory fell 14.7 percent.
Year-to-date average sale prices are up 1.8 percent in 2011, from $149,905 to $152,554.
Meanwhile, the increase in September home-construction permits in the metropolitan area marked the third time they’ve risen by double digits within the past four months.
The nine-county area’s September increase matches the 22-percent jump in permit filings for August. The number of permits in July fell 3 percent from the same time in 2010, but they were up 29 percent in June.
The year got off to a rocky start as the first three months of 2010 saw double-digit decreases in permits filed.