SALT LAKE CITY — Sales of existing single-family homes during the third quarter reached their highest point in four years, according to data complied by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

But the prices paid for those properties declined.

The number of single-family homes sold in Salt Lake County in the July-August-September period jumped 33 percent compared to the same three-month period last year. Sales in Tooele and Weber counties climbed more than 40 percent year over year, while Utah County saw sales rise over 26 percent.

Davis County experienced a moderate increase, with sales rising 8.45 percent. 

Despite the increase in the volume of sales, prices were down in all five Wasatch Front counties.

Salt Lake County saw its median sales price dip below $200,000, falling to $196,000 from $230,000 in the third quarter of 2010 — an almost 15 percent drop. Tooele County prices for previously owned homes fell 14.2 percent year over year, followed by Weber County declining 10.4 percent, Davis County decreasing 9.52 percent and Utah County median sales prices falling 6.67 percent. 

“The two main drivers of home sales are affordability and job growth,” said DeAnna Dipo, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. “We expect home sales to continue an upward trend for the rest of this year.”

“Home prices typically follow demand,” Dipo added. “With home sales making a comeback, we expect home prices to stop falling.”

More people purchased single-family homes in the Kearns/Taylorsville area ZIP code of 84118 in the third quarter than any other area along the Wasatch Front. The Lehi ZIP Code of 84043 ranked No. 2 at 207 sales, followed by the Farr West ZIP Code of 84404 in Weber County at No. 3 with 173 sales.

The increase in home sales followed five months of declining home sales in the first part of this year due to last year's federal home buyer's tax credit, Dipo said.

Despite an overall drop in home prices county-wide, there were six cities in Salt Lake County where home prices increased, including the Avenues ZIP Code of 84103, which saw prices climb 19 percent; the South Salt Lake ZIP Code 84115 was up 8 percent; Riverton ZIP Code of 84065 rose 6 percent; prices in the West Jordan ZIP Code of 84088 climbed 5 percent; the Emigration/Federal Heights ZIP Code 84108 was up 2 percent; and the Sugar House ZIP Code of 84105 increased 1 percent.