Home sales across Virginia declined for the 13th straight month in September, falling 27 percent from their year-ago pace, giving way to lower prices, the Virginia Association of Realtors reported.

Realtors recorded 8,537 single-family home sales last month, down from 11,693 in September 2005. The median existing-home price dipped to $199,975 during that period, falling 9 percent from $220,125, although last month’s price rose from $194,200 in August.

“There is no doubt that consumers are more cautious and taking their time in making a purchase decision,” said Kit Hale, president of VAR. “We’re also hearing that sellers are waiting until their homes are sold before purchasing another in order to avoid placing a contingent contract.”

Despite the sales slowdown, the South Central Virginia and Williamsburg regions actually showed increases in closed transactions for September, while the Dan River Region, New River Valley and Southwest Virginia are seeing increases in pending transactions, according to VAR.

In September, 8,199 homes were placed on the market, a 21.6 percent decrease from a year earlier when 10,452 new listings were added. As the supply of new listings shrank, the average time single-family homes spent on the market increased to 107 days in September, up from 102 in August and 84 a year ago.

“The good news is that there’s a larger selection of homes to choose from for buyers, and even though sellers might see a longer market time, the two factors will help keep downward pressure on home prices,” Hale said.

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