Sales of existing single-family homes in New York fell in May from their year-ago level, while the median home price posted double-digit growth, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors.

The May 2006 sales total of 8,617 represents a decrease of 2.1 percent compared with the sales total of 8,806 reported a year ago, according to NYSAR.

However, sales gains were reported in 31 counties in May 2006 compared to the same period a year earlier, with Montgomery County leading the state in sales growth, NYSAR reported.

The statewide median selling price rose 14.1 percent in May 2006 to $249,900 compared with the $219,000 median recorded in May 2005.

Forty-four counties reported gains in median selling price in May 2006 compared to the same period a year earlier, NYSAR reported. Jefferson County led the state in median sales price growth, recording an increase of 57.1 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

“The New York housing market data continue to support our forecast of a healthy 2006 market with single-digit price appreciation,” said Charles M. Staro, NYSAR chief executive officer. “The May totals, while behind last year’s record, remain at historically high levels. We continue to project a strong summer housing market in our state, and May provided a good start to the spring-summer sales season.”

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