Home sales across Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia in September outpaced their year-ago levels, while prices approached record-highs, according to Realtor associations in those states.

September’s sales in Ohio bested the month’s previous record results posted in 2003, with sales this year reaching 12,482, a 1.4 percent increase from the 12,304 sales last year, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors.

The month’s average sale price of $151,596 is a 3.2 percent increase over the September 2003 average sales price of $146,846.

Statewide sales of new and existing homes (January-September) total 106,414, a 7.4 percent increase from the 99,071 sales posted during the nine-month period in 2003.

The state’s average sale price (January-September) of $151,726 is 1.6 percent ahead of the $149,289 average posted during the period in 2003.

In North Carolina, sales of existing homes were slower in September than in August, but 11 percent ahead of sales posted during the same time period last year, the North Carolina Association of Realtors reported. Last month, 9,603 residential units were sold. At this pace, existing-home sales will soon surpass 2003 total sales and set another record in 2004, the association reported.

The average existing-home sales price last month in North Carolina was $194,304, a gain of 4 percent from $186,240 recorded a year ago. Year-to-date sales through September 2004 totaled 85,311 units; an increase of 22 percent from sales posted in the first nine months of 2003 and just 7,000 units shy of the record set in 2003. The average sales price went up 5 percent during the same time period to $193,347.

Areas of the state with the strongest year-to-date sales growth and price appreciation are primarily along the coast. Brunswick County leads the way with a 51 percent increase in total sales dollars, followed closely behind by the Outer Banks (49 percent), Jacksonville (47 percent) and Wilmington (46 percent).

In Virginia, 11,686 sales transactions were closed during September, nearly 8 percent higher than the 10,824 closed a year ago, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors. Year-to-date, 102,765 contracts have closed, compared to 92,881 for the same period last year, representing a 10.6 percent increase. Of 24 areas reporting closed transactions, 14 showed increases in September, with the largest being seen in Williamsburg, Martinsville/Henry, the Eastern Shore, and South Central Virginia.

The average sales price was $224,571 for the state, up 13 percent from the year-ago price of $198,305.

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