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NOVEMBER DECLINE IN HOME SALES SMALLEST IN 1989

Home sales in November 1989 kept pace with those from one year ago, according to a recent report by the New York State Association of Realtors.

Closed sales of existing, single-family homes dropped by only 1.3 percent from 5,606 in November 1988 to 5,537 in November 1989. This is the smallest decline this year, fueled by the steady slide in mortgage interest rates.

Interest rates in November were 9.84 percent, down from October's rate of 9.93 percent. The rate has also fallen from November 1988 when it reached 10.52 percent.

"The gap is closing with regard to the monthly decline in sales, as the November 1988 to November 1989 figures reveal," according to Charles M. Staro, executive vice-president of NYSAR, "despite the fact that sales have decreased each month since April."

The average selling price statewide increased by 7.7 percent from $126,752 in October to $136,467 in November. There was an 11.3 percent jump in price from November of 1988 when the price was $122,570.

Staro points out that New York has seen a dramatic recovery in home sales when comparing the November 1988 to November 1989 dip of 1.3 percent to the 18.5 percent drop from July 1988 to July 1989; the largest drop in sales to date.

"A comparison of July and November data indicates that the market may be turning the corner," he concluded. "With interest rates predicted in the 9.5 percent range for 1990, it could be a good year for buyers and sellers alike."

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