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Local luxury home sales jumped in February

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Luxury home sales in central Indiana surged in February despite an overall decline in home sales, Re/Max of Indiana reported Monday morning.

A total of 33 homes in the nine-county area sold for more than $500,000 during the month, a rise of 43 percent from February 2009, when 23 homes in the highest-priced segment were sold.

"That was the first time we've seen a jump that big," said Eva Gribler, a Re/Max market analyst.  Re/Max agents believe the $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners, plus the signs of increasing home prices pulled luxury buyers off the sidelines. The median price for the nine-county Indianapolis metropolitan statistical area was $106,100, up 8.8 percent in February 2009.

Overall home sales in February were down 5.8 percent from the previous year, to 1,281.  The decline was led by the $75,000-and-under price segment, in which sales dropped 17.8 percent, from 540 to 444.

Last month's luxury sales took place in only three of the nine counties: Boone, Hamilton and Marion.

— Hamilton County's luxury sales increased from 10 to 17.

— Marion County luxury sales increased from six to 13.

— Boone County luxury sales were unchanged from the prior year at three.

Hendricks, Johnson and Morgan counties each saw at least one sale in the $500,000-plus category in February 2009, but none last month.

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