The number of homes sold in the area declined 7 percent in August compared with a year ago, according to figures released by the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.
Even more dramatic was the drop in the number of homes with pending sales contracts. Those single-family houses and townhomes declined 24 percent compared with August 1989, the board said.
The board said 1,808 homes were sold in August compared with 1,960 last year. The number of homes with sales contracts pending dropped from 1,944 to 1,459.
The average price of a home increased 2 percent from $122,620 to $125,415.
"August is historically a slow month for residential real estate sales," said Brandon Gaines, president-elect of the board. "This factor combined with an unanticipated increase in interest rates caused by unrest in the Middle East may account for the drop in home sales."
So far this year, 12,552 homes have been sold in the area -- 3 percent more than last year.
The figures include new and existing home sales reported by Realtors in the city and Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Carroll counties.