Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, October 21, 2010, 9:27 AM
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…There were 4,343 sales in the third quarter, 22.5% fewer than 5,603 in the prior year quarter and 26.4% less than 5,902 sales in the prior quarter. The expiration of federal tax credits for existing homeowners and first time buyers was likely responsible for the drop in sales. For the past five years, there was a 12.3% average change in the number of sales between second and third quarters. Listing inventory declined 2.3% to 21,670 in the third quarter from 22,170 in the prior year quarter and declined 8.3% from 23,620 in the prior quarter. Listing inventory levels remain elevated, but have generally trended lower since peaking in 2007. However, the monthly absorption rate—the number of months to sell all existing inventory at the current pace of sales—increased in the third quarter to 15 months, up from 11.9 months during the same period last year and above the 12 months seen in the prior quarter…