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LI home sales down in March

For the inside home spread of the Nov.

For the inside home spread of the Nov. 5, 2010 - Home section about the new rules of pricing a home. House, Real Estate, Residential Structure, Currency, Balance, foreclosure, Wealth, Finance, Weight Scale, Home Finances Photo Credit: Photo by iStock

Home sales figures last month dropped across the board from a year earlier, when the federal home buyers tax credit pushed sales to artificial levels, said the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

The median price for home sales fell 2 percent, from $349,000 in March 2010 to $342,000 last month, said the report, which also covers Queens. The number of March closings fell 9.3 percent from a year earlier ago, or 2,097 deals to 1,902, figures show. The median price of contracts, considered potential closings, fell 2.8 percent, according to the data.

But as the prime house hunting season unfolds, a certain drop has given the trade group a sort of confidence -- contracts signed last month fell by 9.3 percent from year earlier. That's 2,589 contracts, down from 2,856 last year, figures show.

"The number of contracted sales this March compared to last March is encouraging because current numbers reflect activity in an unsubsidized market without federal incentives in place," chief executive Joseph E. Mottola said in a statement. "To have current (pending) sales be off less than 10 percent` from an artificially stimulated market a year ago signals that purchasers are somewhat more confident in the economic future."

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