Salt Lake area home sales got off to a sluggish start this year and local real estate experts are blaming it on bad weather.

A total 982 single-family homes sold during the first three months of 1989, a 12.71 percent drop compared to the 1,125 homes sold during the same period last year, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported.Board president Scott Webber said he was disappointed by the slow start, particularly when the previous quarter experienced a 21.5 percent increase to close out 1988.

"I have to believe that the cold, snowy weather we had in January and February took its toll on the number of people out looking for homes," he said, explaining why the momentum of last year didn't continue.

Webber said sales should pick up during spring and summer months - traditionally the busiest months of the year.

Overall residential property sales of 1,234 single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, duplexes and vacant lots were down 9.1 percent. In dollar volume, residential property's $88.4 million total was 9 percent less than last year and single-family homes decreased 11.3 percent, from $86.12 million to $76.39 million.

Two positive notes for the quarter were condominium sales, up 23.6 percent compared to the same period in 1988, and apartment sales shot up 109.1 percent over 1988.

During the first three months of this year, 131 condominiums were sold for a total $6.6 million. Twenty-three apartment sales brought in $2.1 million; 16 duplex sales totaled $932,000; and 65 vacant lots sold for a total $2.4 million.