Existing home sales in North Carolina took a giant leap in March, rising 39 percent over February sales and 30 percent above sales in March 2003, the North Carolina Association of Realtors reported.


About 8,700 residential units were sold in March, with total sales valued at $1.6 billion. The average existing home selling price was $182,587. About 21,000 units were sold in the first quarter of this year, which is 19 percent higher than first quarter 2003 results, the association reported. In the Charlotte area there were about 2,500 units sold in March, a 27 percent rise over existing homes sold in March 2003.


In the Outer Banks area, home sales jumped 33 percent in March compared with March 2003 statistics, and average home sale prices rose 25 percent in this same area, from $3369,000 in March 2003 to $460,000 in March 2004. Statewide, average home sale prices increased about 5 percent from March 2003 to March 2004, the association also reported.


The North Carolina association has about 29,000 members.


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