Sales of existing single-family homes in New York surpassed 103,000 to set a new annual record in 2004, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors. The preliminary data showed a median selling price increase of nearly 17 percent in 2004 compared to the previous year.

The 2004 statewide annual sales total of 103,526 represents an 8.4 percent increase from the 2003 market total of 95,534 and marks the first time the sales total has surpassed the 100,000-mark since NYSAR began tracking data in the 1980s. The previous record was set in 2002, when 97,522 existing single-family homes were sold.

The 2004 statewide median selling price of $232,000 represents a 16.9 percent increase from the 2003 statewide median of $198,500. The 2004 statewide median also represents the first time the annual median has surpassed the $200,000-mark since NYSAR began tracking data.

Sales gains were reported in 40 counties in 2004 compared to 2003 with the greatest increases being report in Montgomery (72.4 percent) and Lewis (56.1 percent) counties. Thirty-six counties reported sales gains compared to 2002. Forty-eight counties reported gains in median selling price in 2004 compared to 2003, with the greatest percentage increases being post in Lewis (32.8 percent) and Columbia (30.3 percent) counties.

The market finished strong in December 2004 with the monthly sales total reaching 8,820, a 1.9 percent increase compared with the December 2003 sales total of 8,652. The statewide median selling price rose 29.4 percent in December 2004 to $278,000 compared with the $214,900 median recorded in December 2003.

“Once again the New York housing market is a shining beacon in the state’s economic picture as evidenced by the record-setting market in 2004,” said Charles M. Staro, NYSAR chief executive officer. “The continuance of favorable mortgage rates helped to mitigate the increases in sales prices, keeping many buyers in the market.

“However, as we look forward to 2005, government and the private sector must work together to ensure that the

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