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Charlotte home sales drop 4.9 percent; prices down 5.9 percent

Charlotte-area home sales and prices fell in February from the same month a year ago, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association said today.

Sales fell 4.9 percent to 1,329 from 1,397, while the average sales price dropped 5.9 percent over the same period, to $180,036 from $191,288.

But the median sales price rose 1.8 percent to $143,500 from $140,970.

During the same period, the average listing price dropped 4.6 percent, to $206,576 from $216,605. It was also down 5.2 percent in February from $217,809 in January.

There were 1,672 pending residential contracts in February, down 14.4 percent from 1,954 in February 2010. But February pending contracts were up 17.8 percent from January’s 1,419.

February’s sales were down 6 percent from 1,414 in January. February’s average sales price fell 4.3 percent from $188,147 in January.

February’s median sales price was up 0.3 percent compared with $143,126 in January.

Laurie Knudsen, president of the association, said the median sales price, which is generally considered to be more accurate by those who watch housing trends, “has been a bit more stable than the average sales price over the last several months.

“When figuring the median sales price, which is up slightly, extreme highs and lows are not included as they are when calculating the average sales price. This is why the median sales price often paints a truer picture when comparing data over time.”

This time last year, the first-time-homebuyer tax credit was driving sales, she said, adding that she’s hopeful that “the nearly 18 percent increase in contracts over last month will be an indicator of sales later on this spring.”

There were 4,108 new residential listings in February. The average number of days a property was on the market from the time it was listed until it closed was 157. The average number of days a property was on the market, excluding the days it was off the market or pending, was 119.9.

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