Sales of existing homes fall for sixth straight month in central Indiana

Sales of existing single-family homes fell 2.6% in central Indiana in May, the sixth straight month of declining sales.

Completed sales in the 16-county area dropped from 3,511 in May 2018 to 3,418 last month, according to the latest data from the MIBOR Realtor Association.

May’s decline followed a 1.9% dip in April, a 3.6% drop in March, a 2.3% fall in February, an 8.3% decline in January and a 6.6% decrease in December.

On a year-to-date basis, closed sales are down 3% in the area, to 12,731.

The total number of active home listings in the region increased 5.2% on a year-over-year basis, to 5,431 at the end of last month. New listings fell 0.9%, to 4,661.

The median sales price for an existing single-family home increased 3.2%, to $196,000. The association is no longer reporting average sales prices.

Homeowners across central Indiana in May got an average of 98.2% of their original list price when selling their houses. That was up from 97.9% in April.

Pending home sales were up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis, to 3,939.

Marion County

In Marion County—the most active market in central Indiana—closed sales in May decreased 3.7%, to 1,307.

The median sales price in the county rose 4.4%, to $167,000. New listings dipped 1.7%, to 1,702.

The inventory of available single-family detached houses in Marion County rose 12.9%, to 1,787.

Other area counties

In Hamilton County, sales dropped 7.3%, to 674, in May. The median sales price fell 1.1%, to $295,000. The inventory of single-family detached houses rose 6.9%, to 1,262.

In Hendricks County, sales plummeted 26.6%, to 256, but the median sales price increased 14.1%, to $229,200.

In Johnson County, sales fell 5.3%, to 269, and the median sales price rose 2.6%, to $200,000.

Sales in Boone County slipped 1.6%, to 122, and the median price of a home rose 11.6%, to $294,750.

Hancock County sales soared 29%, to 160, and the median price rose 10.5%, to $197,000.

Sales were up 11.1% in Madison County, to 150. The median sales price increased 10.1%, to $125,500.

Morgan County sales fell 7.1%, to 105, and the median sales price jumped 15.6%, to $184,900.

Shelby County saw 55 closed home sales in May, up from 45 the previous year. The median price shrank 2.7%, to $125,000.

National numbers

U.S. home sales jumped 2.5% in May, as lower mortgage rates appeared to help buyers overcome affordability challenges. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million last month, up from 5.21 million in April.

The recent gains likely came from reduced borrowing costs that made it easier to finance a home. Rates for the 30-year mortgage are averaging 3.84% this week, down sharply from 4.57% a year ago, according to the mortgage buying company Freddie Mac.

Still, the real estate market has yet to shake off last year's slump. Home sales fell 1.1% from a year ago.

The faster pace of sales also boosted prices. The median sales price in May was $277,700, a 4.8% increase from last year.

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