Home sales in South Carolina fell for the third straight month in August, while prices maintained a double-digit lead over a year ago, according to statistics provided by the South Carolina Association of Realtors.

Realtors recorded 6,485 sales in August, down 12.2 percent from 7,383 sales in August 2005.

A total of 47,942 homes have been sold so far this year, off 2.4 percent from the 49,129 sales recorded through the same period last year.

Among the areas reporting the largest declines in sales from a year ago were: the Hilton Head area, down 56.9 percent; Coastal Carolinas (Myrtle Beach, N. Myrtle Beach, Conway and Georgetown), down 36.1 percent; and Beaufort, down 35 percent.

The overall median price for single-family, condo and villa homes in August was $164,300, up 11.1 percent from $147,900 a year ago, but down from $165,500 in July.

Median sales prices in Piedmont, Cherokee County, Charleston Trident and Beaufort bested both year-ago and month-earlier levels, SCAR reported. Piedmont prices were up 9.6 percent from a year ago to $171,000; Cherokee County prices gained 23.6 percent to $110,000; Charleston Trident prices rose 6.9 percent to $216,000; and Beaufort prices jumped 37.4 percent to $290,000.

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