Home sales fall in 38 states in the summer

Monday, November 20th 2006, 9:26 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sales of existing homes fell in 38 states during the summer, led by steep declines in Arizona, Florida and California, as the once-booming housing market showed further signs of a steep slowdown.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.27 million units nationwide, down by 12.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

The declines were the largest in once-booming areas of the country. Sales fell by 36 percent in Arizona; 34.2 percent in Florida and 28.6 percent in California.

In all, nine states had sales declines in the summer of 20 percent or more compared to the third quarter of 2005.

The weakness in sales also affected prices with 45 metropolitan areas experiencing price declines, according to a separate survey the Realtors did of 148 metropolitan areas.

The price survey showed that the median _ or mid-point _ price for an existing home sold in the third quarter dipped to $224,900, down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.