Area home-sale deals rise for 17th straight month

Home-sale agreements in the nine-county Indianapolis area rose 3.8 percent in September, the 17th consecutive month of improvement in sales contracts.

The gains were concentrated in Hamilton, Madison and Shelby counties, Indianapolis-based real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. said Monday. Sales actually fell in four out of the nine counties, including Marion, Morgan and Johnson. 

Purchase agreements for existing homes totaled 1,788 homes for September, up 66 homes from September 2011. Madison County led the way, with a jump from 86 pending sales to 126. Hamilton County had 372 pending sales, up 13.4 percent from the same month in 2011.

Sales agreements dropped 1.6 percent in Marion County, from 773 to 761.

Recent home-sale figures still pale in comparision to pre-recession numbers. More than 2,400 homes were sold in the area in September 2006, about 34 percent more than last month.

Year-to-date, home sales in the area have risen 14.6 percent. Average sale prices for the year also have risen, 2.2 percent, to $155,987. The only county to record a decline in average sale price this year is Hamilton, down 1.9 percent, to $239,920.

Meantime, the inventory of available homes is falling fast. There were 12,727 existing homes available on the market in September, down 2,132 from September 2011.

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