Ohio’s real estate market continued to cool in July, as home sales fell for the fourth straight month and prices dropped, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported.

Sales of new and existing homes — including condominiums/co-ops — reached 12,644 in July, a 9.4 percent decrease from the record 13,949 sales posted during the month a year ago.

The month’s average sales price of $160,985 was down 2.8 percent from $165,608 a year ago, and dropped 5.3 percent from $169,925 in June 2006.

Year to date, sales of new and existing homes totaled 82,632, a 0.4 percent decrease from the record 82,968 sales posted during the seven-month period in 2005.

“Rising interest rates, higher energy costs and less-than-robust economic growth contributed to the slowdown in home sales throughout the Buckeye State in July,” said Darlene Breen, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors.

Home-sale figures are based on statistics provided by 20 Multiple Listing Services throughout Ohio. The report reflects reported closings by MLSes, including new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops.

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