Home sales in Iowa were up 13-percent in October compared to the same month a year ago, the Iowa Association of Realtors reported today. Davenport real estate agent Don Marple was recently elected the group’s president.

He credits low interest rates for the increase in activity. “I’ve seen interest rates anywhere from around 2.75 percent for a 15-year fixed program, up to 3.5 percent for a 30-year fixed program,” Marple said. “When I started in this business in 1976, it was 8.9 percent. We’ve seen highs and we’ve seen lows, this is the best.”

There were 2,998 home sales in Iowa last month, up from 2,646 in October 2011. On average, homes sold last month were on the market 96 days, six days fewer than a year ago. “That means the homes are on the market less time and they’re selling quicker. And because they’re selling quicker, they’re bringing more dollars. More people are getting in the market now because they see the prices are rising,” Marple said.

The median home sales price climbed 5.4 percent to $126,500 in October, up from $120,000 last year. The rise in home sales and prices in October followed a slight slowdown in September. Marple notes sales, pending sales, and median sales price are all are on track to end the year ahead of 2011 figures.