The cooldown in housing markets across Illinois and Ohio continued in December, as sales fell below their 2005 levels for the ninth straight month, according to Realtor associations in both states. In Ohio, sales of new and existing homes fell 5.1 percent last month to 9,710, compared with a record 10,228 sales posted during the month in 2005, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported. The state's average home sales price of $149,711 came in 2.9 percent lower than the $154,231 average reported a year earlier. For the year, Ohio's 142,416 sales of new and existing homes dropped 3.1 percent from 2005, while the average sales price dipped 2.1 percent to $153,456. In Illinois, total sales of new and existing single-family homes and condos tumbled to 10,811 in December, a 19.1 percent drop from the 13,361 sales a year earlier, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported. The median sales price -- a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less -- inched u...
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