Triangle home sales surge in October, but prices fall

In a mixture of good and bad news, new and existing home sales in the Triangle top 2,000 – up 44 percent from a year ago. However, the average sale price declines 12 percent, to $219,914.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Home sales in the Triangle area shot up 44 percent in October from a year ago, but the good news was offset by a 12 percent decline in sale prices.

New and existing property sales hit 2,009 in October, up from 1,397 a year ago, according to the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

However, the average price fell to $219,914 from $248,693, based on Multiple Listing Service data. Industry observers attributed the price decline to more sales in lower price ranges.

"People are re-evaluating their needs, and not always is bigger better," said Stacey Horowitz, a Realtor with Fonville Morrisey in Raleigh.

Statewide, existing home sales jumped 22 percent from 2008, to 7,720. The increase was the largest one-month gain since March 2006, according to the group.

Average sale prices declined 7 percent to $198,202.

In the Triangle, Realtor figures include new and existing home sales. The rest of the state reports only existing sales.

Horwitz said she is starting to see multiple offers being put on more area homes up fro sale.

"Things are starting to move. There's a lot out there, but once again, if things show well – it's really important to show well – there are buyers looking. I think the tax credit has helped," she said.

Triangle sales increased 9 percent from September, the increase getting a boost by federal tax credits for first-time home buyers.

Even with the jump last month, sales through the first 10 months of 2009 lag behind the same period in 2008 by 18 percent statewide.