Home sales surge in March as inventory remains tight

  • Comments
  • Print

Home sales in central Indiana jumped 9.2 percent in March as average sale prices showed healthy gains and inventory remained tight.

In the nine counties that comprise the Indianapolis metro area and four adjacent counties, closed home sales grew from 2,435 in March 2015 to 2,660 in March of this year, according to data released Tuesday from MIBOR Realtor Association.

The average home sale price over that period rose from $175,991 to $182,032, a 3.4 percent increase. And while the number of homes newly listed in March was up 8.9 percent from the same month in 2015, rising from 3,995 to 4,350, the total number of active listings was down 7.6 percent, from 11,348 to 10,490.

Real estate agents were encouraged to see that the number of pending sales—agreements signed but not yet closed—jumped 16.5 percent in March from the same month in 2015, from 2,679 to 3,122. Taking a slightly wider view, pending sales for the first quarter of 2015 rose by 14.6 percent, compared with the first quarter of 2015.

Pending sales is considered a more current indication of market activity than closed sales.

“It was another strong month for local housing in terms of overall activity,” said Roger Lundy, MIBOR president, in prepared comments. “Pending sales growing by double digits in each of the last three months means buyers are ready to be part of this hot market.”

“Those sellers on the fence should take notice,” Lundy said. “The buyers are there and the prices are strong.”

In Marion County—typically the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales jumped 4.2 percent in March from the same month in 2015, from 1,026 to 1,069. The average sale price rose 5.1 percent, from $138,680 to $145,735.

In fast-growing Hamilton County, closed sales were up 5.6 percent, from 516 to 545, while average sale prices eked up 1.4 percent, from $270,881 to $274,630.

Hamilton led the nine-county metro area in terms of the average percent of sellers' original list prices received at sale: 96.2 percent.

The richest market was Boone County, where average sale prices surged 9.7 percent, from $268,261 to $294,341. However, the number of closings fell 15.7 percent, from 83 to 70.

Madison County experienced a big upswing in closed sales, which rose 43.9 percent from 98 to 141. The move was mirrored by a hike in average sales price, up 23.1 percent from $81,339 to $100,132.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.