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Home sales start to climb nationwide, but not in this area

Home sales start to climb nationwide, but not in this area

Homes sales nationwide last month started to climb out of an economic chasm as sellers shed hefty as

Homes sales nationwide last month started to climb out of an economic chasm as sellers shed hefty asking prices, but sales continued to sink in the greater Capital Region where prices have barely budged.

Diverging from the U.S. housing market, the region posted 697 single-family home sales regionwide, down 13 percent from a year earlier. During the same period, the region’s median sale price declined 1 percent to $187,500, according to statistics released Friday by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors.

For the first nine months of 2008, sales regionwide were down 15 percent at 6,276, compared to the same period of last year. The region’s year-to-date median sale price was flat at $193,000.

GCAR’s monthly results ran contrary to those also released Friday by the National Association of Realtors, which showed single-family home sales over the year increasing by 3.8 percent to 4.62 million. September’s U.S. results marked first year-over sales increase since November 2005. Accompanying that uptick was an 8.6 percent year-over drop in the nation’s median sale price.

NAR officials attributed September’s sales gains to lower prices and interest rates, which started to pull more buyers into California markets several months ago. That trend spread to Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Rhode Island.

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