September sales of single-family homes in the Houston area fell 18.6% from a year earlier, but home prices held their own. The average price of a single-family home rose 5% from a year ago to $215,250, primarily due to strength in the upper end of the market, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, but the median price edged up just 0.2% to $156,250. Foreclosure sales were down 6.9% in September compared to a year earlier. The median price of foreclosure sales slid 5.2% to $82,500 on a year-over-year basis. Sales figures were collected before the national controversy arose over alleged improprieties in preparation and review of foreclosure paperwork. The statistics don't reflect any potential freezes on such transactions. Sales of all residential property types in Houston for September (4,648) were down 18% compared to September 2009. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month was $958 million, down nearly 13% from $1.1 billion a year ago. "The Houston real estate market continues to experience slower sales coupled with strong pricing, and that combination still puts us in an enviable position compared to many other markets around the country," said Margie Dorrance, HAR chairwoman and principal at Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan. Write to Kerry Curry.