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Home sales continue to slump, but prices rise

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Home-sale agreements in the nine-county area fell 22.8 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago, according to a report released Tuesday by F.C. Tucker Co.

Pending home sales dropped last month to 1,725, down from 2,235 in September 2009, the Indianapolis-based real estate company said.

The decline marked the fifth straight month that home sales have slumped in central Indiana following three straight months of improving sales activity spurred by generous federal tax credits. Pending sales were down 23 percent in August, 27 percent in July, 30 percent in June, and 32 percent in May.

Pending home sales account for sales agreements, not sales that have closed.

Year-to-date, sales agreements are off 6.1 percent from the same period in 2009, the report said.

In Marion County, September sales agreements fell 23.1 percent compared with the previous year, from 1,052 to 809. Pending sales dropped 30.9 percent in Hamilton County, from 427 to 295, and 28.9 percent in Hendricks County, from 201 to 143.

Three counties recorded an increase in sales contracts for September: Shelby County had 47 sales, up from 31 last year; Morgan County recorded 60, up from 58; and Hancock had 81, up from 80.

On a positive note, the average price of homes sold in the area is up 8.1 percent for the year to date, from $138,466 last year to $149,639 this year.

Prices are up 10.5 percent in Marion County, to $113,956, and 7.6 percent in Hamilton, to $243,801. But Shelby County has led the way so far this year with a 13.1-percent jump, to $96,707.

Meantime, the number of listings rose 1.7 percent in the central Indiana region.

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