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With home sales down 13.5 percent in the third quarter, Chattanooga home prices continued to decline this summer, local and national Realtor groups reported today.

The National Association of Realtors reported that Chattanooga's median home price declined 3.3 percent in the past year to $120,000 in the third quarter. Nationwide, median home prices in the third quarter dipped 0.2 percent in the past year to $177,900.

The Chattanooga Association of Realtors said today that 1,404 single-family homes were sold in the third quarter, 13.5 percent lower than the same period of 2009. That compares to 1,919 home sales in the second quarter, before the $7,500 individual federal tax credit for home purchases expired.

"In our second quarter report, we had predicted a very tough outlook for the remainder of 2010, and unfortunately, that assessment was correct," Chattanooga Association of Realtors President Randy Durham said in a statement today. "I don't know if many of us have ever seen such a 'perfect storm' of negative events during our careers - or for that matter during our lifetimes. With the confluence of a slow economy, unemployment, mortgage lending problems and foreclosures, optimism can often be in short supply."

For complete coverage, see Friday's Times Free Press.

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