Existing-home sales see small rise in 2018 despite tough December

The year turned out to be a positive one for existing-home sales in central Indiana despite a disappointing final month.

Closed sales in the 15-county area fell 6.6 percent in December, according to the latest data from the MIBOR Realtor Association, from 2,589 in December 2017 to 2,589 last month.

Those results, coming on top of weak increases in October and November, led to a 1.4 percent decline in closed sales in the fourth quarter.

The area still eked out a 1.1 percent increase in closed sales for the full year, with 37,291 completed transactions. But that followed a 5.2 percent year-over-year increase in 2017 and a 14.6 percent increase in 2016.

Higher prices, low inventories and climbing interest rates have all combined to slow growth in the market.

The total number of active home listings in the region fell 4 percent, from 7.312 at the end of December 2017 to 7,016 at the end of last month. New listings dipped 0.9 percent, to 1,902.

The average area home sales price during the year-over-year period increased 7.5 percent, to $218,304. The median price rose 6.7 percent, to $176,000.

Home owners across central Indiana in December got an average of 94.4 percent of their original list price when selling their houses. That was down from 94.9 percent in December 2017.

Pending sales in the area were up 2.3 percent in December, to 2,491.

“High demand for few homes for sale fueled price increases (in 2018), but evidence is mounting that inventory will finally improve in 2019,” the MIBOR Realtor Association said in written comments. “This may apply some downward pressure on prices for beleaguered home buyers.”

Marion County

In Marion County—typically the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales in December rose 0.7 percent, to 1,080. For the full year, sales dropped 0.1 percent, to 14,872.

The average sales price in the county rose 4.8 percent in December, to $173,621. New listings rose 8.7 percent, to 865.

The inventory of single-family detached houses in Marion County was up 3.7, to 2,511. The townhouse-condo inventory fell 1 percent, to 303 units.

Other area counties

In Hamilton County, sales were down 9 percent, to 465, in December. The average sales price rose 8.2 percent, to $338,638. The inventory of single-family detached houses fell 4.9 percent, to 1,215.

In Hendricks County, sales dropped 6.1 percent, to 232, while the average sales price increased 12.4 percent, to $234,790.

In Johnson County, sales slid 18.4 percent, to 99, and the average sales price rose 12.3 percent, to $230,097.

Sales in Boone County dropped 20.2 percent, to 81, as the average price of a home increased 17.4 percent, to $342,672.

Hancock County sales fell 27.6 percent, to 76, and the average price rose 7 percent, to $204,973.

Sales were down 8.6 percent in Madison County, to 117. The average sales price slipped 0.7 percent, to $112,376.

Morgan County sales jumped 22.1 percent, to 94, and the average sales price rose 20.8 percent, to $191,726.

Shelby County saw 38 closed home sales in December, an decline of 9.5 percent. The average price rose 45 percent, to $163,668.

Indiana results

Statewide, closed sales in December fell 7 percent over the same month of 2017, to 6,127, according to the Indiana Association of Realtors. The median price rose 5.8 percent, to $155,000.

For the full year, closed sales rose 0.6 percent in Indiana, to 89,125.

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