Indiana home sales and prices ended 2009 on a positive note, which may signal that the state’s housing market is poised to rebound in 2010.
According to figures released Monday by the Indiana Association of Realtors, home sales statewide rose 4.1 percent in December compared with the same month in 2008, while the median price of a house in Indiana climbed 11.2 percent during the same time frame.
That marks the third straight month home sales have increased, and the second consecutive month median prices have risen.
“December’s numbers were an encouraging way to end 2009,” association CEO Karl Berron said in a written statement. “While October’s and November’s numbers can be linked to a rush toward the original deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit, December hopefully shows Indiana’s housing markets are continuing to turn around, as well as bringing some momentum moving into a new year.”
A new federal law extends an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers that was to have expired in late November. It now covers homes purchased or under contract through April 30. It also creates a new $6,500 tax break for existing homeowners who have lived in their current residence for at least five years.
Not all of Indiana recorded rosy numbers. December sales slid 9.7 percent in Marion County and 6.2 percent in Hamilton County compared with a year earlier.
For all of 2009, 57,001 homes sold in Indiana, a 6.8-percent drop from the previous year. The median sale price of $105,300 reflected a 2.4-percent decline.
In Marion County, 9,881 homes sold last year, 9.1 percent fewer than in 2008. Home sales in Hamilton County totaled 4,011, a 7.7-percent decline from the previous year. And in Hendricks County, 1,837 homes sold in 2009, a drop of 8.9 percent.