The buyer’s market continued in Central Ohio during November, as record-high inventory cut further into sales and prices, the Columbus Board of Realtors reported.

Realtors recorded 1,763 home sales last month, down 7.2 percent from 1,899 sales a year earlier. Year-to-date, the region’s 24,498 sales are 4.2 percent behind last year’s pace.

Although the average sales price crept up to $167,371 last month from $166,266 in October, it has fallen 3 percent below the year-ago price of $172,586.

Record numbers of homes have been listed for sale this year in Central Ohio, the board reported, although new listings sank in November from both month- and year-ago levels. There were 2,899 new listings added to the market last month, compared with 3,844 in October and 3,368 a year ago, bringing the total number of active listings at month end to 16,501, up 15.4 percent from inventory levels in November 2005.

Chris Reese, president of the Columbus Board of Realtors, said the decline in new listings “is an indication that the market is headed in the direction of a more balanced playing field. Right now, the market clearly favors the buyer.”

Reinforcing the current buyer’s market is the markedly longer time houses are spending on the market. Homes that sold in November were listed for an average of 104 days, up 20.9 percent from a year ago when homes sold in 86 days.

The Columbus Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Madison, Morrow and Union counties and parts of Champagne, Clark, Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion and Pickaway counties.

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