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Home sales and prices enjoy gains in the area

More than 700 home sales closed in the Fort Wayne area last month, a solid gain over June last year and continuing evidence of a recovering market halfway through the year, according to a report released Tuesday evening.

The Upstate Alliance of Realtors said its Multiple Listing Service showed that 724 homes sold in June, up 9.2 percent from the 663 sold in June 2012.

For the first six months of this year, 3,475 homes sold, up 12.1 percent from the 3,100 in the same period of 2012.

And there’s good news for sellers, too: the average sale price for the first six months of the year was $124,592, up 2 percent from $122,208 in the same period last year. The increase was more noticeable in June, with the average sale price at $138,211, up 4.4 percent from the $132,399 in June 2012, the report said.

“Strong sales and higher prices are encouraging more sellers to enter the market, which is fortunate since the inventory shortage is still a key piece of the housing puzzle,” Phil Stinson, president of the Upstate MLS, said in a statement.

MLS data showed a nearly 14 percent decline in June in the number of homes for sale: 3,306, compared with 3,838 in the same month a year ago. The MLS covers Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells and Whitley counties, although listings from other surrounding counties may also be included in the statistics.

The report from the Realtors group comes just two weeks after the local homebuilders association said projected residential construction is up 23 percent through the first half of the year.

The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne said in a report that 413 construction permits were issued in Allen County through June 30, compared with 336 at the same point last year. For June, it said there were 78 Allen County residential construction requests, compared with 82 permits in June 2012.