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September was a banner month for home sales in Western New York, as the number of closed deals soared 23.7 percent, while prices remained near record levels for the region.

According to new data from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, 988 homes changed hands in September, up from 799 a year ago.

Although it’s down from the summertime peak levels of June, July and August, that’s the highest level for September in at least three years and the fourth-highest level for any month since at least mid-2010.

And it reflects the higher level of activity and confidence in the market all year, as homebuyers enticed by low interest rates rush to take advantage of them before they really start to rise. Already, they’re about a point higher than a year ago. And closed sales for the first nine months of the year are up 9.8 percent as a result.

Adding to the surge, pending home sales in September were also up, by 10.7 percent, to 891. That’s also the highest level for the month in at least three years. So far this year, pending sales – in which an agreement has been signed but not finalized – are up 7.7 percent to 8,584.

Meanwhile, prices continue to surge. The median sales price rose 4 percent to $130,000 – tied with August and June for the second-highest level ever for Western New York, behind July’s $133,000 – while the average was up 6.4 percent to $154,771, the fourth-highest level ever for the region.

For the first nine months of the year, the median was up 4 percent to $125,000, while the average rose 4.1 percent to $149,259.

The increased confidence in the market is also showing through in sellers’ willingness to put their homes on the market. New listings rose 7.8 percent in September, to 1,400, and are up 3.6 percent for the year to date, to 14,047. But that’s still not keeping up with the pace of sales activity, as the inventory of homes for sale fell 14.5 percent to 5,268 in September.

Indeed, on average, homes spent 57 days on the market, down 10.9 percent from a year ago. At this rate, the supply of homes for sale would last six months, down 21.1 percent from September 2012.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com