Central Indiana home sales rise for first time in a year

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Home sales in the nine-county Indianapolis area last month rose 32 percent compared with the same time a year ago, reversing a year-long slump in the residential market.

Sales agreements climbed to 2,089 last month from 1,575 in May 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by F.C. Tucker Co.

That marks the first increase in home-sale agreements since April 2010, when scores of potential homebuyers rushed to sign contracts prior to the expiration of a federal tax credit. The special credit provided up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and $6,500 for some repeat buyers.

While local real estate companies undoubtedly welcome last month’s improved sales figures, they’re skewed by the dramatic falloff in home sales last May. At the very least, though, pended home sales seem to be stabilizing. The 2,089 sales agreements reported last month compares favorably to April, when nearly the same amount—2,091—was recorded.

“The May sales numbers are showing positive signs of stabilizing over April 2011, and we are seeing inventory tightening up a bit,” F.C. Tucker President Jim Litten said in a prepared statement. “These are all good signs and point to ending the year on a positive note.”

Through May, sales agreements are down 13.7 percent compared to the first five months of 2010.

In Marion County, May sales agreements surged 30.4 percent compared with the previous year, from 694 to 905.

Pending sales also rose 30.4 percent last month in Hamilton County, from 336 to 438, and 48 percent in Hendricks County, from 123 to 182. Sales agreements increased 24.2 percent in Johnson County, from 132 to 164.

The average year-to-date sale price in the Indianapolis area through May was $144,652, down 5.9 percent from the same time last year, the report said.

Active listings fell 5.3 percent, from 16,424 in May 2010 to 15,557 last month.


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