Area home sales show signs of cooling off

Home-sale agreements in central Indiana fell for the second time in three months in September amid higher mortgage rates and tighter inventories.

Real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. said Monday that 1,921 pending sales took place in the nine-county Indianapolis area last month, down 1.6 percent from the 1,952 sales reached in September 2012.

Although area sales are up 17.8 percent through the first nine months of the year, the rate of growth has cooled considerably in recent months. Sales were up 3 percent in August after falling in July for the first time in more than two years.

Mortgage rates had been near all-time lows this year through mid-May, but began creeping up in June. They remain low on a historical basis, but not quite the bargain they were a few months ago.

Home-sale agreements dropped only 1.1 percent in Marion County in September, from 818 a year ago to 809 this year. Hamilton County saw a 6.7-percent decline, to 405. Deals dropped 16.2 percent in Hendricks County, to 150.

Sales were up 11.6 percent in Johnson County, to 173. They rose 7.9 percent in Madison County, to 123, and were up 21.3 percent in Hancock County, to 91.

Available homes for sale in the region dropped 7.5 percent in September, with 11,963 homes on the market. That’s 963 fewer than in September 2012.

Year-to-date sales prices in the area through September are up 5.9 percent, to an average of $165,283.

One home in the area sold for more than $2 million in September and six others sold for more than $1 million. The biggest number of deals, 798, were priced between $100,000 and $200,000.

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