Existing-home sales in the Twin Cities, Minn., metro area dipped 0.25 percent in October from a year ago, while the median price grew modestly, according to the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors.

Realtors reported 4,843 closed homes sales in the 13-county metro area, down slightly from 4,855 in October 2004 and down 8.2 percent from 5,277 sales just a month ago.

The median price for an existing home in the area remained unchanged from the previous month at $230,000 but was up 4.5 percent from the year-ago level of $220,000.

Counties with the largest percentage gain in closed home sales in October, compared to the same month in 2004, were Rice (up 22.8 percent), Wright (up 16.4 percent), and Scott (up 7.7 percent). In the East Metro the only county to post an increase in closed home sales for October compared to a year ago was Washington (up 6.7 percent).

New listings for the Twin Cities metro market jumped 9.9 percent during the month of October compared to a year ago. The system added 8,257 new listings during the month, the most ever for an October period. In spite of the hike in new listings for the month, year-to-date the increase is only 0.26 percent over last year at this time.

“Choices – that’s what buyers are getting now and they are taking advantage of it,” said June Wiener, president-elect of the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors. “Again that is why you are seeing on average a longer market time for sellers, even with the increased visits to open houses that our agents have experienced.”

The Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors represents more than 4,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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