Existing-home sales in central Indiana fall for third straight month

Sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent in central Indiana in February, the third straight month of declining sales.

Closed sales in the 15-county area dropped from 2,146 in February 2018 to 2,086 last month, according to the latest data from the MIBOR Realtor Association.

February’s decline followed an 8.3 percent decrease in closed sales in January and a 6.6 percent drop in December that came on the heels of weak sales increases in October and November.

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

“It is worthwhile to mention the weather when discussing residential real estate for large portions of the U.S. for February 2019, because the month turned in some impressively cold, rainy and snowy days that stalled some buying and selling actions,” MIBOR said in written comments.

The total number of active home listings in the region fell 5.8 percent, from 6,845 at the end of February 2018 to 6,447 at the end of last month. New listings fell 3.3 percent, to 2,755.

The average area home sales price during the month increased 6.4 percent, to $209,270. The median price rose 3.8 percent, to $173,900.

Homeowners across central Indiana in February got an average of 94.6 percent of their original list price when selling their houses. That was down from 95.2 percent the previous February.

One encouraging sign for future months was pending home sales, which rose 10.6 percent in February, to 2,786.

Marion County

In Marion County—typically the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales in February dropped 6.4 percent, to 859.

The average sales price in the county rose 3.3 percent, to $165,293. New listings dropped 2.9 percent, to 1,102.

The inventory of single-family detached houses in Marion County was up 3.2 percent, to 2,182. The townhouse-condo inventory fell 10.8 percent, to 297 units.

Other area counties

In Hamilton County, sales rose 2 percent, to 400, in February. The average sales price rose 8.7 percent, to $328,569. The inventory of single-family detached houses fell 6.4 percent, to 1,193.

In Hendricks County, sales sank 13.8 percent, to 155, and the average sales price increased 10.3 percent, to $222,294.

In Johnson County, sales increased 3.3 percent, to 118, and the average sales price rose 7.4 percent, to $212,028.

Sales in Boone County rose 7.9 percent, to 68 and the average price of a home ticked up 0.9 percent, to $309,951.

Hancock County sales rose 17.6 percent, to 80, and the average price rose 7.6 percent, to $210,932.

Sales were up 3.1 percent in Madison County, to 99. The average sales price increased 10.5 percent, to $111,889.

Morgan County sales slumped 10.3 percent, to 61, and the average sales price dropped 10.9 percent, to $175,315.

Shelby County saw 34 closed home sales in February, one more than the previous year. The average price rose 12.3 percent, to $147,489.

Indiana results

Statewide, closed sales in February rose 2.3 percent over the same month of 2018, to 5,022, according to the Indiana Association of Realtors. The median price rose 4 percent, to $154,900, and the average price increased 3.7 percent, to $178,381, marking the 87th straight month of year-over-year price increases.

Pending home sales rose 4.2 percent, to 6,348, and new listings fell 3.5 percent, to 6,710.

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