Home sales were down for the month of November 2010 compared to November 2009, according to statistics released Dec. 22 by the Columbus Board of Realtors.

Home sales were down for the month of November 2010 compared to November 2009, according to statistics released Dec. 22 by the Columbus Board of Realtors.

Residential sales were down 28 percent, with a total of 1,325 sales last month. That's still 15 percent better than November 2008.

"Sales in November of 2009 were inflated as they reflected buyers trying to close on a home purchase before the expiration of the first first-time home-buyer tax credit," CBR president Sue Lusk-Gleich said. "Although the tax credit was extended (and expanded) in early November, many buyers had rushed to put a home in contract prior to that decision."

She said November 2010 and 2008 probably are better comparisons because both months were unaffected by the tax-credit incentive.

Homes in contract (which are expected to close in December or January) seemed to follow the same trend as sales -- down from 2009 but up from 2008, according to the CBR. There were 1,100 homes put into contract last month versus 1,234 last year and 1,020 in November 2008.

The average sale price of a home last month was $151,096 -- up 3.8 percent from the average price of homes sold in November 2009. Year-to-date home-sales prices in 2010 are showing no change from 2009. Home sales for 11 of the 12 months of 2010 are slightly lower (3 percent) than January-November 2009.

"As home sales have been decreasing annually since the housing boom, the fact that 2010 is no different comes as no surprise," Lusk-Gleich said. "What is different is that previous years showed a much greater decrease for this period -- anywhere from 4.2 percent to 13.3 percent (lower). This is actually the lowest decline since 2005."