Sales of existing single-family homes in New York continued their downtrend in September, as rising inventory finally cut into prices, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors.

Realtors recorded 8,876 home sales in September, down 15.7 percent from the record 10,533 sales in September 2005. The September 2006 total fell nearly 20 percent compared to the August 2006 sales total of 11,073.

Year-over-year sales gains were reported in just 14 of the state’s 54 counties in September, while 13 counties posted growth from August 2006, according to NYSAR.

The preliminary data showed a median selling price of $238,000 statewide in September, down 10.1 percent from $264,750 in August, and down 8.1 percent from the year-ago median of $259,000.

Despite the statewide slide, some 19 counties reported gains in median selling price in September compared to August, and 31 counties reported gains compared to September 2005, NYSAR said.

“The statewide housing market continues to return to typical sales levels as it cools as expected from the record-setting levels of 2005,” said Charles M. Staro, NYSAR chief executive officer. “The reduction in the median sales price can be attributed to an increase in available inventory as the shift to a buyer’s market continues.”

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