Home sales and prices were both up in Iowa last month compared to a year ago. Iowa Association of Realtors president Dale Gross reports 2,606 homes were sold in October — 287 more than October 2010.

Gross said prices climbed just 2.1% over the year with the average sale price last month at $138,739. The October report did show homes are spending more days on the market. Last month, the average number of days on the market was 109 – up from 105 days in October 2010. But, Gross notices things are beginning to turn around.

“Earlier on in this year, it was 120 days and now we’re back down to 109. So, that says we’re selling homes quicker at this point in time,” Gross said. He credits a growing agriculture economy and lower interest rates.

“The underwriting rules are a little more stringent and difficult, but if somebody really wants to buy a home, four-percent interest rates and 30 year notes are out there,” Gross said. Gross, who lives in Atlantic, just recently took over as the new president of the Iowa Association of Realtors.