Home sales activity throughout Ohio continued to slow in May, taking prices lower as well, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported this week.

Sales of new and existing homes in May totaled 13,759, down 1.6 percent from a year ago when 13,987 sales were recorded. The month’s average sales price of $156,864 sank 1.4 percent from last May’s $159,100.

Sales for the first five months of the year, however, were up 2 percent from a year ago, rising to 54,752 from 53,660 during the same period last year, OAR reported. The state’s average sales price in the January-May period declined 0.9 percent to $149,564, compared with $150,866 recorded during the period last year.

“Despite rising interest rates the marketplace has been very strong during the first five months of the year, posting solid numbers in May and remaining on track for one of our best years ever,” said Darlene Breen, president of the Ohio Association of Realtors. “Higher energy costs and a less than robust economy are key factors in our housing market returning to more traditional sales levels.”

The 35,000-member Ohio Association of Realtors calculates its home-sale figures based on statistics provided by the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) throughout Ohio. Participating MLSes include: Ashland, Athens, Cincinnati, Columbus, Centralized Real Estate Information Services, Dayton, Firelands, Greater Portsmouth, Heartland, Knox, Lancaster, Licking, Mansfield, Marion, Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service, Scioto Valley, Toledo, West Central, Western Regional Information Systems & Technology and Zanesville. The report reflects reported closings by MLSes, including new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops.

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