Not that the increase amounted to much - 1 percent, to 2,232 units, compared to the same month a year ago. But the uptick was a psychological boost to an industry decimated by the subprime mortgage bust.
The last time the trade group recorded an increase was in May 2007, when sales rose nearly 3 percent, to 3,340 units from 3,245 units in May 2006.
Claire Belby, a spokeswoman for the trade group, said buyers might be edging back into the market, thinking the depressed values are a good deal. The $114,900 median sale price in September was down more than $5,000 from September 2007.
The market also might be fueled by sales of foreclosed houses, Belby said.
September was a bright spot in a market that has largely spiraled downward for more than a year.
For the quarter ended in September, sales were down 11 percent from the same quarter last year. And the average price in the quarter fell 6 percent, to $146,712.
At the county level in September, only Brown, Hancock and Putnam staged increases in properties sold. In the quarter, only Hendricks saw an increase.