Real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. Inc. said Monday morning that home-sale agreements in central Indiana sank 22.8 percent in February, compared with the same month last year. That marks the sixth straight month of year-over-year declines, dating back to September.
February's slide was only a slight improvement from the 31-percent fall recorded in January.
Buyers in the nine-county area in February signed agreements for 1,784 homes, down 527 from February 2013.
In Marion County, agreements fell 20.2 percent, to 760. Hamilton County experienced one of the steepest drops in the area, 30.3 percent, to 354 agreements.
In Johnson County, agreements decreased 19.1 percent, to 165. Hendricks County experienced a much more severe drop, 31.3 percent, as agreements tumbled to 156.
Boone County saw the biggest decrease, 39.5 percent, but recorded only 52 agreements.
Inventory in the nine-county area continued to fall. The number of homes on the market in February dipped 12 percent, to 9,229, from the year-ago period.
F.C. Tucker President Jim Litten attributed the disappointing numbers to the prolonged wintery weather conditions but hoped for a turnaround as spring approaches.
Higher mortgage rates and tighter inventories also have contributed to the weaker numbers.
On a more positive note, the average year-to-date sale price in the area rose 7.2 percent, to $155,886, compared with February 2013. The average price for Marion County homes was up 5.9 percent, to $117,757. The average Hamilton County price jumped 7.6 percent to $252,643.
One central Indiana home that sold in February was priced above $2 million, and four fetched between $1 million and $2 million. Fifty-three were priced between $500,000 and $1 million.