Triangle home sales down in 2010

Posted February 18, 2011 2:04 p.m. EST

— Home sales across the Triangle declined by 6 percent last year, likely because of federal tax credits that encouraged first-time home buyers in 2009, industry officials said Friday.

The Triangle Multiple Listing Service said 20,643 homes sold across the region last year. That ranked eighth best in the past 16 years, the organization said.

Sales for the first half of last year were up 9 percent over the same period in 2009, as the tax credits were extended into the first three months of 2010. But sales over the second half of last year couldn't keep up with 2009's rush to cash in on the tax credits.

The average sales price rose 3 percent last year, to $228,700, and Multiple Listing Service officials expressed optimism about the 2011 housing market. They noted an increase in pending home sales in November and December and a higher number of showings to potential buyers.