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RISMEDIA, January 29, 2010—Fueled by a recovery in the second half of 2009, statewide sales of existing single-family homes in New York State rebounded from a double-digit deficit in the first half of the year to finish only 3.2% behind the 2008 total. According to preliminary existing single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors®, 77,176 homes were sold statewide during 2009.

“As 2009 progressed, the combination of the federal first-time home buyer tax credit, historically low mortgage rates and moderating prices resulted in New Yorkers gaining confidence about it being a good time to buy a home in the Empire State,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, NYSAR chief executive officer. “In the first half of 2009, many would be buyers remained on the sidelines due to reports of the so-called ‘national’ housing market collapse and the overarching economic uncertainty.”

“Once New Yorkers came to understand that all housing markets are local and that their local market could not be painted with the same brush as severely depressed markets in other locales, there was a renewed interest in homeownership across our state,” MacKenzie said. “The fact that sales were 20% higher in the 2009 fourth quarter compared to the 2008 provides clear evidence of buyers returning to the market as does the similar increase in December sales from a year ago.”

“The federal home buyer tax credit and the SONYMA Tax Credit Advance Loan program to help buyers capitalize on the credit were crucial to the current recovery,” MacKenzie said. “With the extension and expansion of the tax credit, we expect the housing market to build on the current recovery into 2010, especially during the early spring as buyers try to meet the April 30 purchase contract deadline to qualify for the federal tax credit.”

New York Realtors sold 77,176 existing single-family homes in New York State in 2009, a 3.2% decrease from the 2008 total of 79,689. The fourth quarter 2009 sales total of 22,626 represents a nearly 21% increase from the 2008 fourth quarter total of 18,789. December 2009 sales increased by 21% compared to December 2008 to reach 7,119.

The 2009 annual statewide median sales price was $199,999, down 6.6% from a year ago due to the sluggish start to the year. However, both the fourth quarter 2009 ($210,000) and December 2009 ($222,000) posted median sales price growth.

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