Existing-home sales in North Carolina were about even in August with their year-ago level, while the average home price eked out a slight year-over-year gain, the North Carolina Association of Realtors reported today.

According to statistics compiled by NCAR, the 13,582 residential units sold in August were just 0.3 percent above the August 2005 level.

The average existing-home sales price grew 1 percent from a year earlier, rising from $217,552 to $219,446, but was down from $221,147 in July.

Year to date, some 96,610 homes have been sold statewide, up 6 percent from the same period last year when 91,063 homes were sold.

Many previously hot coastal areas are cooling down in both unit sales and prices. Coastal regions seeing a downturn in sales include the Outer Banks (down 41 percent), Brunswick County (down 64 percent), and Wilmington (down 35 percent).

In the Outer Banks region, the average home price dropped 10 percent year-over-year in August to $472,756, down from $527,723 a year earlier. Prices in Wilmington lost 5 percent during the period, falling from $270,106 to $256,146.

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