Business

Existing Home Sales Fall in 41 States, including N.C.

Posted August 15, 2007 10:12 a.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2007 11:25 a.m. EDT

— Sales of existing homes fell in 41 states during the April-June quarter while home prices were down in one-third of the metropolitan areas surveyed, a real estate trade group reported Wednesday.

North Carolina was among those states reporting fewer sales compared to 2006. Sales dropped 4.5 percent to just over 231,000.

However, in the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area, the sales value of homes improved by 8.4 percent to $225.100. The increase was the third highest nationally among metro areas.

The new figures from the National Association of Realtors underscored the severity of the current housing slump, the worst downturn in 16 years.

However, Realtors officials said they saw some glimmers of hope in the data. They noted that existing home prices were up in 97 of the 149 metropolitan areas surveyed compared with the sales prices of a year ago.

That represented price gains for 65 percent of the areas surveyed, an improvement from the first quarter of this year when only about 55 percent of the metropolitan areas reported price gains from the same period a year ago. In the fourth quarter of last year, less than half of the metropolitan areas reported price gains.

"Although home prices are relatively flat, more metro areas are showing price gains with general improvement since bottoming-out in the fourth quarter of 2006," said Lawrence Yun, senior economist for the Realtors.