Across Connecticut, sales and prices held steady in the third quarter of 2004. This 2,800-square-foot Colonial on Crabapple Lane in Guilford sold during that period for $495,000 after being on the market for just a week.

Home sales held steady in most parts of the state during the third quarter of this year compared with the second quarter, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Connecticut Association of Realtors.

A slight flattening of the market, which has witnessed sharp price and sales volume increases, is good in the long run, said Greg Scott, president of New Haven-based Beazley Co. and a former president of the association.

“Overall the market was great in [2004],” he said.

But Scott said he has noticed sales tailing off slightly during the second half of the year, although November has seen strong home sales. But the best thing for the market now is to slow down a little, rather than to continue growing too quickly, Scott said. Numbers have been outstanding and often record-breaking in the last three years, but a respite from the records is healthy for the housing market, he said.

“I think you’re seeing some stability in the marketplace,” Scott said.

Scott said he still expects 2005 to be a good year for real estate agents, but maybe not another record-breaking year.

“I think it’s a natural transition in the market,” Scott said.

Maureen Campbell, a vice president at North Haven-based H. Pearce Co., has seen similar trends. The third quarter of this year was not as robust as the third quarter of 2003, she said. Also, a large number of last year’s sales came during the third quarter, while most of this year’s came in the first half of 2004.

“Pretty much, sales are up about 6 percent [through the third quarter],” she said. “It’s still a pretty strong market.”

Part of the reason the housing market slowed down in the last half of the year was the presidential election, he said. The campaign was so close and bitter and there was so much uncertainty in the country that people who didn’t need to make immediate decisions on whether to buy a home held off, Scott said.

“I think the election took a lot of wind out of the [home market’s] sails,” he said.

The number of single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops sold in the third quarter of 2004 in New Haven County stayed steady, according to statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors, which was contracted by the Connecticut Association of Realtors for the report. There were 1,600 total units sold in both the second and third quarters of this year. There were 1,000 units sold during the first quarter.

However, when taking into account seasonal differences, the sales rate improved slightly in New Haven County, going from 7,600 sales in the second quarter to 7,700 in the third.

The state saw improvement overall from the second to the third quarter, largely because of Fairfield, Middlesex and Hartford counties. With seasonal adjustments, the sales rate for the state went from 54,800 housing units in the second quarter to 60,100 in the third, according to the report.

“As far as we’re concerned, things are moving along in a really nice way,” said Leanne Spletzer, president of the Connecticut Association of Realtors.

Prices have been going up or staying steady and, although there have been some slight drops in sales numbers in some areas of the state, they are not significant, she said.

Realtors have similar success to look forward to in 2005, Spletzer said.

One of the most significant accomplishments of the past year was that the number of new households across the country reached 14 million, she said. But Connecticut’s biggest problem continues to be high median prices, which sometimes make it difficult for first-time homebuyers to find an affordable home, she said.