Triangle home sales jump 43 percent in December

Posted January 20, 2010 4:08 p.m. EST

— Sales of new and existing homes in the Triangle jumped 43 percent in December over a year ago, but the average price on each sale continues to be depressed, according to data released Wednesday by the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

Last month, 1,554 homes were sold in the Triangle, compared with 1,089 in December 2008. The average sale price dropped from $236,888 to $222,590 during that period.

Statewide, home sales increased by 19 percent from December 2008. For the year, however, sales were off by 12 percent from 2008 totals.

A federal tax credit for home buyers, which has been extended through April, has been credited for similar jumps in sales nationwide in recent months. First-time buyers can get a credit on their income taxes of up to $8,000, while existing homeowners can qualify for up to a $6,500 credit for buying another house.

The Realtors group said December marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year improvements to North Carolina's housing market.

December sales also jumped in the Rocky Mount and Pinehurst markets, up 16 and 27 percent, respectively. But they declined by 9 percent in Fayetteville and 34 percent in Goldsboro.