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Area existing home sales fell 2.9% in ’09

Existing home sales last year in Sacramento County and the city of West Sacramento fell 2.9 percent from 2008 as bank repos became a smaller part of the sales mix, the Sacramento Association of Realtors reported.

The trade group for The Hoyt Group Real Estate agents said 19,991 single-family homes changed hands in 2009 in its territory. In 2008, SAR counted 20,587 sales.

The group said 2009 ended with a median price of $187,500. That was up slightly from November, and was 4.5 percent higher than in December 2008. It was the second straight month that prices were higher than a year earlier.

Median is that point where half cost more and half less.

Distressed properties still represented two-thirds of sales activity, SAR reported. Bank repos accounted for 40.7 percent of December sales. Short sales, in which banks accept offers below what’s owed, were 24.5 percent of sales.

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