Area home sales creep up after faltering in July

Home sales in central Indiana crept 3-percent higher in August as prices rose modestly and the inventory of available homes slipped.

Real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. reported Monday morning that 2,415 sale agreements were reached in the nine-county metro area in August, a 3-percent bump from 2,344 homes in the same month last year.

The tiny increase was a relief for local industry watchers, after year-over-year sale agreements faltered in July for the first time in more than two years.

The U.S. housing market is showing signs of cooling as higher prices and interest rates conspire with shrinking inventory to slow sales, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Pending sales rose 2.5 percent in Marion County, from 1,005 in August 2012 to 1,030 in August 2013. Counties with the greatest percentage increases were Shelby, with a 75.7 percent rise (37 to 65 homes); Hancock, with a 22.4 percent jump (85 to 104 homes); and Johnson, with a 13.6 percent improvement (169 to 192 homes).

High-end powerhouse Hamilton County saw its pending sales dip 4.7 percent, from 508 homes to 484. Contracts also fell in pricey Boone County, tumbling 11 percent (91 to 81 homes).

Year-to-date, pending sales for central Indiana are up 18.6 percent compared with the first eight months of 2012.

Available homes for sale in the region dropped 9.4 percent in August 2013, with 11,965 homes on the market—1,242 fewer than in August 2012. Marion County’s inventory dropped 9.1 percent (5,867 homes to 5,331).

Boone County has the area’s highest average home price, year-to-date, at $256,019. That’s down a smidge—0.3 percent—from a year ago. The average home price in Hamilton County is up 3.9 percent to $250,299. The average sale price in Marion County rose 8.4 percent to $128,671.

There were three agreements in August for homes in the region priced above $2 million, according to Tucker. Another three were priced between $1 million and $2 million. Forty-four sold at prices between $500,000 and $1 million.

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