More than 750 fewer homes were sold in Iowa last month compared to December. According to figures from the Iowa Association of Realtors, 1,398 homes were sold in January. Although that’s a big dip over the previous month, IAR president Kurt Schade says sales and prices were up compared to January of 2009.

“We believe this is a function of a number of factors. We’ve had a fairly mild winter, but typically in January, our sales are still lagging from the holidays,” Schade said. “We believe the increase in our sales and sales price was a function of the increase in activity we saw in December of last year.”

The average sales price of homes in January was $132,368. Schade says housing activity has been slowly growing after the tax credit program for first-time buyers expired last spring.

“Our companies are making record profits, housing is still extremely affordable and we’re starting to see some positive economic news – which we believed all along has been the key to our housing recovery,” Schade said.

The average number of days on the market for Iowa homes last month was 124 days. That’s up 19 days from January 2009.