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National home sales beat forecast, but Utah's still down from over a year ago

 (Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Home resales fell more than 10 percent during September compared to the same month a year ago.

That contrasts sharply with national numbers that show home resales rose to their highest level in more than two years. The impetus: Buyers are scrambling to complete their purchases before a tax credit for first-time owners expires.

In Utah, there were 938 existing home sales in September -- down 11.7 percent compared to 1,061 sales in September of last year. The 1,018 sales for single-family and condominiums in September also are down 8 percent when compared to sales a year earlier.

Dave Anderton, with the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, cautioned that numbers may be skewed when comparing Utah's and national sales because locally, seasonal fluctuations are not taken into account.

In Salt Lake County, the median price of all housing types sold in September was $205,000, down 6.8 percent compared to $220,000 in September of last year. Since June 2007 -- when home prices peaked at $243,000 -- the median price in Salt Lake County has fallen 15.6 percent.

By contrast, the national median home price in September was $174,900. As Salt Lake County's home prices continue to fall, Anderton said, "We expect sales will increase. This is what is currently happening nationally."

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