Sales of existing single-family homes in New York increased 6.7 percent in March from the same month last year, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors.


March 2004 sales totaled 6,397 compared to the March 2003 sales total of 5,998. The March 2004 sales total rose 17.7 percent from the 5,435 sales total posted in February 2004.


Sales gains were reported in 37 counties in March 2004 compared to the same period a year earlier, while 39 counties recorded increases from February 2004. Greene County led the state in sales growth percentage compared to March 2003, recording an increase of 140 percent. Columbia County recorded a 975 percent increase in sales growth percentage from February 2004. 


The preliminary data showed a median selling price increase of nearly 27 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The statewide median selling price in March rose to $239,900 compared to the $189,000 median recorded in March 2003. The March 2004 median price remained statistically unchanged compared to the previous month, which recorded a median sales price of $240,000. 


Thirty-seven counties reported gains in median selling price in March 2004 compared to March 2003, while 30 counties reported gains from February 2004. Franklin County led the state in median sales price growth in March 2004, recording a 232 percent increase compared to the same period a year earlier. Delaware County recorded the largest median sales price growth from February 2004, recording a 51 percent increase.


“Although the March sales numbers reflect the traditional seasonal upward trend experienced during the first quarter, the growth compared to last March is indicative of a very strong start for the 2004 housing market,” said Charles M. Staro, NYSAR chief executive officer. “We anticipate that this trend will continue during the typically strong spring and summer season.”


The New York State Association of Realtors is a trade organization representing more than 48,000 real estate professionals.


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