Sales of condominiums and cooperatives rose during the second quarter in the Northeast, the nation's largest market for the dwellings, but fell in all other regions, the National Association of Realtors reported.
Nationwide, the trade group reported a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 355,000 previously owned apartment condominiums and cooperatives for the second quarter, up 0.3 percent from the first quarter but down 4.6 percent from the second quarter of 1989.
The national median price for existing condos and co-ops was $87,200 in the second quarter, rising 1.2 percent -- less than the U.S. inflation rate -- from last year's second quarter.
By comparison, the national median price for existing single-family homes was $96,200 during the latest period, rising 3.4 percent from a year earlier. Half the number of condos changing hands sell for more than the median price, half sell for less.
In the Northeast, the resale rate for condos was 143,000 units, up 13.5 percent from the first-quarter rate of 126,000. But the 143,000 units came in 23.5 percent below the second quarter of 1989.
"In the Northeast, the sales pace decline from a year ago largely reflects a downturn of the entire housing market in that region," said John A. Tuccillo, chief economist for the Realtors group.
Norman D. Flynn, the group's president, said the Northeast's lower-priced condo market has become a viable alternative for buyers unable to acquire single-family homes.
The median price for condos in the Northeast was $111,600, up only 0.7 percent from the second quarter of 1989.
The resale rate of condos and co-ops in the Midwest was 73,000 units, down 1.4 percent from the first quarter but up 15.8 percent from the 1989 second quarter.
The Midwest median condo price for the most recent quarter was $70,700, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.
In the South, condos and co-ops were sold at a rate of 96,000 units during the second quarter, falling 2 percent from 98,000 units recorded in the first three months. The figure was 15.7 percent above the rate for the second quarter last year.
The median condo price in the South was $70,200, down 2.1 percent from the second quarter of 1989.
The sales pace in the West dropped 23.2 percent to 43,000 units in the second quarter from 56,000 in the first quarter. The West's resale pace for the second quarter was 10.3 percent above that of a year earlier.
The median price for apartment condos and co-ops in the West was $100,500 in the second quarter, down 11.8 percent from the 1989 period.