Existing home sales continue dismaying trend

Home-sale agreements dropped 14.6 percent in the nine-county Indianapolis area in May, the ninth straight month of decreasing deals.

Pending sales of existing homes dropped from 3,149 in May 2013 to 2,690 in May 2014, real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. reported Monday morning. Sales for the first five months of the year are down 14 percent from the first five months of 2013.

Area home prices continued to rise, however. The average year-to-date sale price in May for the metropolitan area was $168,669, a 7-percent jump from $157,604 in May 2013.

And for the first time in many months, the number of available homes ticked up a smidge in the year-over-year comparison. There were 11,414 homes on the market in May, up 48 from 11,366 in May 2013.

“Though sales have been slow to grow this year, we’re still optimistic,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Co., in a prepared release. “Affordability and low interest rates have been favorable for buyers looking to make smart purchases, so we hope to see more positive momentum in the coming months.”

Pending sales were down in seven of the area’s nine counties in May. The sole exceptions were Madison County, which logged a 13.4-percent increase, to 152 homes pending, and Shelby County, which jumped 35 percent, with 54 homes pending.

Marion County, by far the most active market, saw a 14.2-percent drop in sale agreements, from 1,315 homes in May 2013 to 1,128 homes in 2014. The average year-to-date sale price was $131,169, up 6.6 percent from $123,017 over the same period last year.

Housing hotbed Hamilton County took a 15-percent hit, sliding from 725 homes in May last year to 616 last month. The average year-to-date sale price in the county was $259,578, an 8.7-percent rise from $238,771 in the same period last year.

Hendricks County suffered a precipitous drop in pending sales, moving only 215 homes in May after 292 in the same month last year.

Deals fell 42 percent in Boone County, to 88 homes.

One home priced above $2 million sold in central Indiana in May. Six homes fell in the range of $1 million to $2 million. Nearly half the pended sales in the area (1,231) took place in the $100,000-to-$199,999 price range.

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