Virginia home sales fell for the third consecutive month in November, while home prices posted another month of double-digit growth, the Virginia Association of Realtors reported this week.

In November, 9,648 sales closed, an approximately 4.8 percent decrease from 10,129 reported in November 2004. Year-to-date, closed transactions remained slightly ahead of last year, with 126,325 sales closed compared with 124,381 for last year, a 1.56 percent increase.

The areas showing greatest increases in closed transactions included the Charlottesville area, Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, Martinsville-Henry County, Massanutten, and South Central Virginia.

“We expect that seasonal factors and higher mortgage interest rates were responsible for moderating sales,” said VAR President Kit Hale of Roanoke. “The good news is that housing inventory levels are improving and buyers are in a better position to not only have a better selection, but to negotiate the best price as well.”

In November, the average market time for home sales was 87 days, unchanged from the previous month, the association reported.

Virginia’s median existing-home price for November was $197,213, up 20 percent from a year ago when the median was $163,750. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

The Virginia Association of Realtors represents more than 37,000 Realtors active in all phases of real estate brokerage, management, development and appraisal.

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