Center City residential real estate prices fell 2.8 percent in 2006 to a median $362,000, but two areas - Rittenhouse Square and the Avenue of the Arts - saw sharper drops, according to a report by Prudential Fox & Roach.

Median prices in Rittenhouse Square declined 13.4 percent to $485,000 in 2006, according to an analysis of sales by zip code in Prudential's HomExpert Market Report. Median prices fell 16.6 percent on the Avenue of the Arts to $372,500.

Center City also saw a 24.3 percent boost in the number of home sales in 2006. According to the report, 1,752 homes sold in 2006, compared with 1,409 in 2005.

Steve Sorti, senior vice president of marketing at Prudential Fox & Roach in Devon, said the high volume of sales moderated the prices. "I don't look at this as a downward trend," he said.

The Center City declines also reflected the broad national real estate slump in 2006 after several years of booming construction and price gains.

In Philadelphia and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties, the largest median sales gain came in Bucks County at 4.5 percent to $300,000. The median prices in the other counties in 2006 were Chester, $302,900; Montgomery, $270,000; Delaware, $203,000; and Philadelphia, $138,000.

Contact staff writer Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or