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Homes sales in metro Detroit rose 19.4% in August from a year ago, although growth was in suburban areas not the city, according to a report from Realcomp. The metro region comprises data from Oakland, Wayne, Livingston and Macomb Counties. Realcomp said 5,041 homes sold in those areas in August, up from 4,221 a year earlier. The urban core, however, saw sales decline 8% to 494 from 537 in August 2010. The urban core includes the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and Highland Park. Home sales in Livingston County, located west of Detroit, saw some of the bigger gains. Sales there rose nearly 30% in August with 261 homes sold, up from 201 last year. St. Clair County, northeast of Detroit, saw sales pick up 25.5% from a year ago with 123 properties sold in August. Realcomp said 83% of sales in August were for homes priced at $200,000 or less, down slightly from last year when 85% of homes in that price range sold. Nearly 42% of sales were in cash. Pending sales, meanwhile, were up by 12% over year ago figures, clocking in at 8,035 for the month of August. Average days on market dropped to 91 from 99, and inventory decline 19% to 31,457 listings last month. Foreclosures and short sales still make up a significant part of the metro Detroit housing market, Realcomp said, with 12.5% of inventory listed as foreclosures and 22.6% listed as short sales. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.

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