Overall median home prices dropped 2.2 percent last month from August 2005, sliding from $493,000 a year ago to $482,000, according to new numbers from DataQuick Information Systems released today.

The number of sales in August – 3,666 – dropped 31.8 percent from 5,379 in August 2005.

Here’s a breakdown of statistics for different housing categories compared to last August:

Single-family, detached, resale homes

Number of sales dropped 25.7 percent. (2,011 sales in Aug. ’06; 2,705 sales in Aug. ’05.) For these homes, the median price didn’t change at all from last year – that median price was $555,000.

Condo resale

Number of sales dropped 38.7 percent. (756 sales compared to 1,234 in Aug. ’05.) Condo median prices dropped slightly – $389,000 in August compared to $395,000 a year ago.

New homes

Sales totals were down 37.6 percent, the biggest drop for any month since July 1993. (899 newly built homes were sold in August compared to 1,440 last year.) The median price on new homes dropped 14.3 percent from August 2005 – to $395,000 from $461,000. Note: This category includes condo conversions, which likely dragged down the numbers.

So, what’s significant in these numbers? Andrew LePage from DataQuick said there’s not much change from June and July‘s trends.

“The main thing is, unfortunately, more of the same,” he said. “The market’s entered a lull, and is spinning its wheels in the sand.”

LePage emphasized how much uncertainty there is in the market, with variables like the employment and interest rates. But he speculated that we might see a more pronounced decline as autumn begins.

“Anyone who was going to buy a house and move in before the kids started school, they’ve already pulled the trigger,” he said, estimating that homebuyers traditionally save 5 to 8 percent when they buy homes in the winter months. That reduction might grow this year due to the current market conditions, he said.


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