Indy-area home deals duck for seventh straight month

Home-sale agreements in central Indiana slid for the seventh straight month in October with double-digit declines in seven of the area’s nine counties.

Pending sales of existing homes in the metro area fell 15.3 percent last month compared with October 2014, according to a report released Friday by real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co. The number totaled 2,071—a fair chunk lower than the 2,444 houses from the same month last year

The average year-to-date home sales price rose 4.3 percent, to $184,637, as the number of listings dipped 7.6 percent, Tucker reported.

“Declines in the fourth quarter of the housing market should be expected, but there are several other factors impacting the overall picture of October,” said Jim Litten, president of F.C. Tucker Co. in a prepared release.

“We know consumer confidence declined in October, yet Indiana’s job market and average salaries are growing, signaling a promising end to 2015,” Litten said.

Agreements are still up for the year by 7 percent compared with the first 10 months of 2014, thanks mostly to strong sales in January and February.

Sales agreements in October tumbled 14.4 percent in Marion County, from 1,068 to 914. The slippage was even more significant in Hamilton County, the area’s second-largest market, with an 18.3 percent drop to 407 houses.

The biggest dips were in Boone and Morgan counties, registering losses of 35.6 percent and 29.2 percent, respectively. Boone recorded 56 pended sales, and Morgan slipped to 68.

The two gainers for the month were Hancock County, where sales jumped 6.6 percent to 113, and Shelby County, where a modest gain from 36 to 40 homes worked out to an 11.1 percent increase.

The area’s shrinking home inventory likely contributed to driving up prices. There were 10,499 available homes on the central Indiana market in October, a 7.6 percent decline from a year earlier.

The average year-to-date sales price in Hamilton County rose to $277,048—the highest of the nine counties. The average sales price in Marion County was $146,315, up 6.6 percent from the first 10 months of 2014.

Four area homes priced between $1 million and $2 million changed hands in October, and 61 were priced between $500,000 and $1 million.

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