Industry News

East Coast real estate slowdown escalates

Buyers wait for prices to fall further

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The real estate slowdown along the East Coast continued in August, as markets in Virginia and Massachusetts endured plummeting sales and sinking prices, according to Realtor associations in both states. In Virginia, August home sales fell for the 12th consecutive month, as prices dipped from a year ago, the Virginia Association of Realtors reported. Statewide, closed sales were off 24 percent for August compared to a year ago. Last month, 11,044 closings were recorded, down from 14,658 for the same month last year. Among the areas that actually showed increases in closed transactions for the month included Charlottesville, the Eastern Shore, Lexington/Buena Vista, Williamsburg, Greater Augusta, Chesapeake Bay & Rivers, and Southwest Virginia. In August, 9,745 homes were placed on the market, a 25 percent decrease from 12,744 in August 2005. Despite the drop in new listings, the average number of days on the market in August increased to 102 from 87 a year ago. Virginia's median e...