Despite several months of slowing activity, last year’s overall sales and prices of existing homes in North Carolina still outperformed their 2005 levels, according to statistics provided by the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

For 2006, there were 139,676 homes sold statewide, up 3 percent from the 135,970 homes sold in 2005.

The average sales price of a home in the state gained 2 percent in 2006 to $214,952, compared with $210,577 for 2005.

Among the best-performing regions for sales were Jacksonville and Charlotte, where year-over-year activity climbed 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Topping the list for home-price appreciation in 2006 were the towns of Brevard and Pinehurst, where average home prices rose by double digits from 2005. Brevard’s average price climbed 18 percent to $305,809, while Pinehurst’s appreciated 14 percent to $259,928.

Despite the growth, the state’s coastal markets bore the brunt of the real estate slowdown, according to NCAR, where sales dropped significantly below their 2005 levels.

Sales in Brunswick County last year tumbled 47 percent from 2005, as closed transactions fell from 3,575 to 1,883 during the period, while the average home price rose to $317,671.

In the Outer Banks, just 1,220 sales were recorded last year, down 44 percent from 2,164 in 2005. The area’s average home price fell 8 percent to $499,815.

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