Area home sales still climbing amid escalating prices, fewer choices

Existing-home sales in central Indiana rose 1.8 percent in May as buyers overlooked rapidly rising prices and shrinking number of available houses.

In the 15-county area, closed home sales rose from 3,673 in May 2017 to 3,739 last month, according to data from the MIBOR Realtor Association. Sales have risen in 27 of the past 31 months.

The total number of active home listings in the region dropped 25 percent, from 9,015 at the end of May 2017 to just 6,771 at the end of last month. New listings, however, jumped 11.8 percent, to 4,955.

The average area home sales price during the year-over-year period increased 10.4 percent, to $224,046. The median price rose 10.1 percent, to $185,000.

Home owners across central Indiana in May got an average of 97.4 percent of their original list price when selling their houses.

Pending sales in the area were up 18.1 percent, to 4,089, which should bode well for next month’s closed sales results.

“Although home sales may actually drop in year-over-year comparisons over the next few months, that has more to do with low inventory than a lack of buyer interest,” the association said in its report. “As lower days on market and higher prices persist year after year, one might rationally expect a change in the outlook for residential real estate, yet the current situation has proven to be remarkably sustainable, likely due to stronger fundamentals in home loan approvals than were in place a decade ago.”

Statewide results

Statewide, 8,869 homes were sold in May, a 0.8 percent decrease compared with the same month of 2017, the Indiana Association of Realtors said.

The average price of a home in the state rose 9.3 percent, to $194,442. The statewide inventory of homes fell 16.8 percent, to 23,998 units.

New listings rose 4.6 percent, to 11,956. Home owners across the state in May got an average of 97.3 percent of their original list price when selling their houses.

Busiest area counties

In Marion County—typically the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales in May decreased 5.5 percent, to 1,423.

The average sales price in the county rose 15.1 percent, to $185,678. New listings rose 8.4 percent, to 1,906.

The inventory of single-family detached houses was down 30.1 percent, to 2,095. The townhouse-condo inventory fell 30 percent, to 266 units.

In Hamilton County, sales rose 3.7 percent, to 778. The average sales price rose 4.9 percent, to $322,980. The inventory of single-family detached houses fell 17.1 percent, to 1,361.

In Hendricks County, sales jumped 21.9 percent, to 368, while the average sales price rose 9.3 percent, to $221,633.

In Johnson County, sales rose 7.9 percent, to 286, while the average sales price rose 5.5 percent, to $229,718.

Sales in Boone County rose 10.4 percent, to 127, as the average price of a home rose 10.5 percent, to $323,828.

Hancock County sales dropped 7.5 percent, to 123, and the average price rose 2.7 percent, to $199,962.

Sales were up 2.9 percent in Madison County, to 141. The average sales price rose 11.8 percent, to $121,080.

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