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Existing home sales in the Buffalo area continued a slide first recorded in June, falling 15.5 percent from a year ago, Greater Buffalo of Association statistics show.

Yet, despite slower sales, median sales prices overall increased by 2.8 percent, making October's 1 percent year-to-year drop a one-time aberration.

November sales totaled 467, down 15.5 percent from November 1989 and 20 percent from October 1990.

Likewise, single-family home sales were off 14.7 percent from a year ago, and 20 percent from October. Single-family sales also have fallen on a year-to-year comparison for the sixth straight month.

"It's absolutely amazing to me that sales are still holding in roughly the same monthly decrease," said Daniel Symoniak, executive vice president of the Greater Buffalo Association of Realtors. Over the last six months, homes sales have dropped about 15 percent each month compared to 1989 totals. "We've certainly seemed to have established a trend."

One bit of good news coming out of the November statistics is that the number of listings on the market dropped for the first time in 11 months. Listings now total 4,031, up 44 percent from a year ago, but down 6 percent from October's 4,673.

"The number of listings down is a good sign in that it signals a smaller supply, which should help the average time a home is on the market," Symoniak said. As of Nov. 23, the average time a single-family home was on the market was 54 days; condominiums and town houses averaged 69 days.

However, the median sales price for all units sold rose 2.8 percent in November, to $77,000. Last month's 1 percent drop from October 1989, was the first time the median price had fallen on a year-to-year comparison in at least two years.

Symoniak said that price increases may slow, but will not stop because the Buffalo area continues to trail the national medians, due to the conservative pricing nature of the region.

The largest increase in median prices came in the four-plus-bedroom segment, up 15 percent from 1989, to $102,000. Three-bedroom units were up less than 1 percent, to $76,000, while two-bedroom and condo and co-op units fell in median price. Two-bedroom units fell 2 percent, to $58,800, while condos and co-ops plunged 10.6 percent, to $82,990.

Of all units sold, 179, or 38 percent, sold within 30 days, compared to 42 percent selling during the first month in October's report. Home sales taking four months or longer climbed to 17.7 percent of all sales, up from 12 percent a month earlier.

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