Existing-home sales in North Carolina dropped 4 percent in September compared to a year ago, while the average home price gained modestly, the North Carolina Association of Realtors reported.

According to statistics compiled by NCAR, 11,763 units were sold last month, down from 12,194 in September 2005. Year to date, however, sales are 6 percent ahead of the same period last year.

Although the average home price sank to $211,988 in September from $219,446 in August, it was still 1 percent above the $209,751 average recorded a year ago.

“More than anything else, the numbers for September indicate that the market is at a more sustainable pace,” said Tim Kent, executive vice president of NCAR.

Further cooling was reported in the coastal markets of the Outer Banks and Brunswick, according to NCAR. Sales in the Outer Banks were down 47 percent from a year ago, while the area’s average home price fell 13 percent to $433,086. Brunswick County sales plummeted 37 percent during the period, as the average home price dipped 3 percent to $306,284.

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