Triangle home sales were lackluster in May, traditionally one of the strongest selling months of the year, as the fledgling economic recovery continued to limit the number of buyers in the market.
There were 1,524 homes sold in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties in May, down 27 percent from the same month a year ago, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show.
Some declines were expected because of the absence of the federal tax credits, but sales were also down 8 percent from the same period two years ago.
There did appear to be more people out looking in May as showings were up 9 percent from the same period a year ago.
Pending sales were down 3 percent.
Concern over the health of the U.S. housing market has grown in recent months with fears that many markets are now experiencing a double-dip in prices.
The average price of all the homes that sold in the Triangle in May was $233,500, down less than one percent from the same period a year ago and off 9 percent from the same period in 2008.
Calculating the exact level of price declines in the Triangle market is difficult, in part because of the lingering impact of the federal tax credits.
The tax credits, which were designed to produce buyers in lower price points, helped skew last year's numbers. Without the tax credits, stronger sales of higher-end homes has helped keep the average sales price up.
The Triangle now has a nine-month supply of homes on the market at the current pace of sales.
The number of existing homes on the market was down 4 percent from the same period a year ago. The number of new homes on the market continued to plummet in May, falling 20 percent to just 2,064.