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And here's a taste of the home-sales story, which looks how things stand vs. a year ago and also vs. the frenzied days back in '05:
The numbers show a sharp change since the peak of buying three years ago. Sales have dropped by at least half in one out of three communities in the metro area. Average sale prices are down in one out of five communities compared with 2005.
Another trend that might seem counterintuitive: Some buyers are getting outbid for the homes they want. That's not necessarily escalating values vs. a few years ago, but it's still startling people who expected a lack of competition:
"We wanted ... an area where the school districts were good based on state ratings," said Christine McDonough. "We found there were too many other people waiting for the same thing."