Area home deals droop as prices rise, selection slips

Home-sale agreements in central Indiana dropped for the fifth straight month in August as prices climbed and inventory declined, according to a report released Monday by real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co.

Pending sales of existing homes in the nine-county area dipped to 2,393 in August—a decline of 299 houses over August 2014. Seven of the nine central Indiana counties included in the report saw a reduction in sales.

While the recent trend is downward, sales agreements are still up for the year, thanks mostly to strong sales in January and February. Almost 2,400 pending home sales took place in the first eight months of the year, up 8.2 percent from the same period of 2014.

Sales agreements slipped 2.4 percent in August in Marion County, to 1,034 homes, but are up 12 percent year-to-date compared with the same eight months of 2014.

Deals fell 17.4 percent in Hamilton County in August, to 554, but are up 5.1 percent year-to-date.

Sales agreements plummeted 26 percent in Johnson County, to 193, and dove 23 percent in Hendricks County, to 218.

Boone County deals dropped 28 percent, to 75; shrank 11 percent in Hancock County, to 106; and fell 25 percent in Shelby County, to 42.

Madison and Morgan counties saw the only increases in the area. Deals were up 5.8 percent in Madison, to 146, and 12.7 percent in Morgan, to 89.

The area’s shrinking home inventory helped drive up average prices. There were 11,271 available homes on the central Indiana market in August, a 7.4-percent decline from a year ago.

Year-to-date sales prices for the area were up 4.9 percent compared with the same eight months of 2014, to $186,087. Boone County had the highest average price, at $278,429, closely followed by Hamilton at $278,093.

The average sales price in Marion County during the first eight months of the year was $146,988, up 7.4 percent from the same period of 2014.

“The residential real estate story in the Indianapolis area continues to be declining inventory and increasing prices, which is attractive for home sellers,” F.C. Tucker President Jim Litten said in a written statement.

Four houses priced at more than $1 million changed hands in the area in August, and 79 were priced between $500,000 and $1 million.

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