After slumping badly towards the end of the year, Triangle home sales ended 2010 down 7 percent compared to the previous year.
There were 20,674 homes sold during 2010 in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. That total ranked eight best when compared to the last 16 years.
Home sales in the fourth quarter decreased 31 percent compared to the same period in 2009.
The steep declines in the fourth quarter are further evidence of how the market has struggled without the support of government incentives.
During the same period in 2009, many buyers were rushing to take advantage of a first-time home buyer tax credit they thought would soon expire.
Most markets around the country have seen a sharp drop in sales activity since the tax credits expired last summer.