Central Indiana existing-home sales show monthly increase

Existing-home sales in central Indiana rose slightly in October, bouncing back from a down month in September, according to the latest data from the MIBOR Realtor Association.

In the 15-county area, closed home sales rose 1.7 percent, from 3,144 in October 2017 to 3,198 last month.

The increase came despite less-than-ideal conditions for buying houses. Home prices and mortgage rates have been on the rise, and inventory continues to shrink. Inventory issues, however, are showing some improvement, with more new listings appearing on the market.

The total number of active home listings in the region fell 8 percent, from 9,066 at the end of October 2017 to 8,339 at the end of last month. New listings jumped 13.4 percent, to 3,707.

The average area home sales price during the year-over-year period increased 2.7 percent, to $206,681. The median price rose 6.4 percent, to $174,500.

Home owners across central Indiana in October got an average of 95.4 percent of their original list price when selling their houses. That was up from 95.1 percent in October 2017.

Pending sales in the area were up 9.4 percent, to 3,017.

Marion County

In Marion County—typically the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales in October rose 1 percent, to 1,334.

The average sales price in the county rose 1.9 percent, to $169,277. New listings rose 14.4 percent, to 1,551.

The inventory of single-family detached houses in Marion County was down 2.4 percent, to 2,938. The townhouse-condo inventory fell 16.4 percent, to 311 units.

Other area counties

In Hamilton County, sales were up 4.3 percent, to 561, in October. The average sales price rose 4 percent, to $313,534. The inventory of single-family detached houses fell 8.4 percent, to 1,515.

In Hendricks County, sales sank 16.8 percent, to 243, while the average sales price increased 2.5 percent, to $218,664.

In Johnson County, sales jumped 6 percent, to 263, and the average sales price rose 5 percent, to $205,271.

Sales in Boone County soared 14 percent, to 104, as the average price of a home increased 4.3 percent, to $324,931.

Hancock County sales dropped 8.5 percent, to 119, and the average price rose 1.8 percent, to $205,241.

Sales were up 31.7 percent in Madison County, to 155. The average sales price dropped 2.6 percent, to $116,883.

Morgan County sales dipped 1 percent, to 103, and the average sales price slipped 0.5 percent, to $190,996.

Shelby County saw 44 closed home sales in October, a decrease of 8.3 percent. The average price rose 3.3 percent, to $146,808.

National results

U.S. home prices increased more slowly in September from a year ago as higher mortgage rates weighed on sales.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier. The index does not include Indianapolis. That's down from a 5.5 percent yearly gain in the previous month. It was the sixth straight month that home price increases have slowed.

The weaker price gains reflect a broader slowdown in the nation's housing market. Sales of existing homes rose modestly in October, snapping a six-month streak of declines. But sales are still 5.1 percent lower than they were a year ago. New home sales have fallen for four straight months.

The declines can be mostly traced to higher mortgage rates, which have jumped in the past year. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.8 percent last week, up from 3.9 percent a year ago.

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