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Charlotte home sales suffer another 30-plus percent slump

Sales of Charlotte-area homes continued a steep descent last month but pricing declines eased.

The number of closings for houses, townhouses and condos fell almost 31 percent last month, compared with October 2007. That marks the 17th consecutive month of double-digit declines and the third time this year the sales decline was above 30 percent, based on figures released today for transactions through the Carolina Multiple Listing Services.

The average price of $216,777 was essentially flat with a year ago, registering a decline of less than 1 percent. In September, prices had tumbled nearly 9 percent, the largest drop in nearly a year of declines.

Pending sales – people who have signed contracts but not closed – took their sharpest drop of this downturn in October. That 37 percent decline is a sign sales have weakened further as the region suffers from the spreading downturn that is afflicting the economy nationwide.

The Charlotte market likely will be further wounded by Wachovia's impending sale to Wells Fargo. The San Francisco bank is expected to cut some of Wachovia's 20,000 jobs in the city, including some of the city's best paid slots.

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