Real estate sales in Illinois and Ohio dropped for the sixth straight month in September, sending prices down further, according to statistics provided by Realtor associations in both states.

In Ohio, sales of new and existing homes totaled 11,825 last month, down from 14,455 in August, and down 10.2 percent from the month’s best-ever mark of 13,169 sales a year ago, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported.

The month’s average sales price of $151,983 fell from $159,194 in August, and is a 3.9 percent decrease from $158,173 in September 2005.

“The slight cooling of the Ohio housing market during the second half of 2006 is not unexpected,” said Darlene Breen, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors. “We’re still on pace for our second-best year in terms of sales activity … and with a stable interest-rate environment, buyers will be able to enjoy a favorable marketplace.”

In Illinois, home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) were down 19.5 percent last month to 13,447 homes sold, compared with 16,700 sales in September 2005, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. There were 17,276 sales recorded in August.

The Illinois median home sale price in September was $199,900, down from $210,900 in August, and off 3.4 percent from $207,900 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“In a normal Illinois housing market we tend to see a slowdown as we enter fall and back-to-school time,” said Robert Zoretich, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “…What we’re seeing is a market that is going through an adjustment that is long anticipated after several record-breaking years….”

Statewide, single-family home sales totaled 9,087 in September, down 20.4 percent from 11,420 homes sold in September 2005. The median single-family home price in September was $190,000, off 7.8 percent from $206,000 a year earlier.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), single-family home sales totaled 5,167 last month, down 26 percent from 6,983 home sales in the same month last year. The median single-family home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $269,000, about even with the $270,000 median price in September 2005.

Statewide, 4,360 Illinois condominium sales were reported in September, down 17.4 percent from 5,280 sales in September 2005. The condo median price for September was $213,000, up 2.5 percent from $207,900 one year ago.

Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA were off 18.7 percent last month to 4,139 units sold, down from 5,090 a year ago. The condo median sales price increased 4.2 percent to $219,900, up from $211,000 in September 2005.

“The key now — as inventories rise — is how the home is marketed. Homeowners must pay close attention to sales prices of comparable homes or condo units…,” said Zoretich, broker-owner of Zoretich Realty Group in Chicago. “Given a positive economic backdrop of lower interest rates, job creation, and energy costs lowering from their high levels in July and August, we expect sales activity to pick up early next year….”

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