Existing homes sales still falling in tight market

Sales of existing homes in central Indiana showed a 2.5 percent decline in March, marking the 11th monthly decrease in the last year.

The number of signed sales agreements—also known as pending sales—in the nine-county metropolitan area slid from 2,895 in March 2015 to 2,824 last month, according to data released Friday morning by real estate agency F.C. Tucker Co.

A shrinking inventory and rising prices are creating a seller’s market, residential real estate experts say.

The number of homes for sale in the area decreased 13.5 percent compared to March 2015, resulting in 1,334 fewer homes on the market. There were 8,534 active listings on the market last month, compared with 9,868 the previous March.

The average year-to-date sales price rose for the third month in a row, to $176,245. That’s up 2.7 percent from March 2015.

The most expensive homes were found in Hamilton County, where the average year-to-date sales price last month was $272,524. Boone County wasn’t far behind, with an average price of $266,620.

The average sales price in Marion County increased 4.7 percent, to $138,109. Madison County had the lowest average selling price at $89,901, up 13.4 percent from March 2015.

“It is a prime time to be a seller,” said F.C. Tucker CEO Jim Litten in written remarks. “Sellers do not have as much competition, as buyer options at all price levels—starter, trade-up and premium—are dropping, especially in the starter category. And, the pacing of sales continues to accelerate month over month.”

In Marion County, the area’s biggest market, sales rose 1.4 percent, from 1,227 in March 2015 to 1,244 last month. Active listings fell 16.2 percent in the county, to 3,871.

Madison and Shelby were the only counties in the area besides Marion to see an increase in sales.

Sales shrank 8.5 percent in Hamilton County, to 614, and fell 6.6 percent in Hendricks County, to 242.

Johnson County saw a 6.3 percent drop in sales, to 236. Sales also were down in Morgan and Boone Counties.

Overall, nine homes priced above $1 million changed hands in March, and 76 sold in the range from $500,000 to $1 million.


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