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Home sales rise again in June, average price dips

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Brunswick County saw a 37 percent increase in existing home sales in June compared to the previous year. The average price of a home in the area has decreased 24 percent, according to the latest information from the N.C. Association of Realtors.

The NCAR report indicates Brunswick County realtors sold 218 houses in June, compared to 159 in June of 2007. The number is also an increase over the 172 sold in May of this year.

Since the numbers started showing steady improvement this spring, local Realtors have said home values are starting to increase at a “normal” rate and prices are becoming more “realistic.”

Debbie Smith, owner of Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty at Ocean Isle Beach and the town’s mayor, said this week prices of beach homes have dropped somewhat, but the decrease in the average home price is mainly due to the increase in sales of mainland homes and decline in beach home sales.

“We’re not selling as many second homes and investment properties,” Smith said. “That [accounts for] some of the decrease in price.”

She said the fact that more homes are being sold is a positive indicator of things to come.

“We’re not selling on the beaches, so we’re getting more permanent residents.”

Statewide, the numbers are mixed.

In Jacksonville, the average cost of a home has increased from $170,616 in June 2007 to $180,434 in 2008. In the tiny Washington/Beaufort area, the average cost went from $225,529 to $132,355.

The average home cost in Rocky Mount remained about the same, while the average cost in the Triad decreased 5 percent, and the cost in the Triangle increased 5 percent.

The average cost of a house in North Carolina decreased 2 percent between June of 2007 and June of 2008, from $230,941 to $226,032. The number of units sold statewide dropped during that same period, from 13,462 to 9,836.

sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or swilson@brunswickbeacon.com.