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County home sales decline

Franklin County home sales continued a slide for the third quarter this year, according to a report from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

Single-family home sales sold in the three-month period that ended in September dropped by more than 10 percent, from 159 to 143 homes in the third quarter of 2012, according to data released by the Springfield-based real estate association.

That drop followed a roughly 4 percent decline for the six-month period that preceded it, compared to the first half of 2012. Taken together, sales so far this year are off by 6.8 percent from the same period last year.

Median prices paid for single-family homes are up by 13.5 percent in the last quarter compared to the same period a year ago, to $210,000. The median price also represented a 16.6 percent rise from the median sales price for homes sold in the first half of the year.

The pace of home sales also picked up over the third quarter of 2012, with the average days on the market dropping from 168 to 142. On average, sellers received about 92 percent of their original asking price, slightly better than for the same three-month period a year ago.

Sluggish sales have been the result of having too few homes on the market, rather than having too few buyers, according to association President Corinne Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Real Estate in Greenfield.

The Springfield-based Realtor Association did not provide six-month sales figures for Hampshire and Hampden counties. But Banker and Tradesman reported last month that Franklin County has the state’s largest year-to-date decline in single-family home sales of any region in the state, with more modest declines in Hampshire and Hampden and sales statewide up 5.3 percent overall.

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