Austin-area existing home sales laste yar were down 5 percent compared with 2009, though the median price rose 2 percent, reported by the Austin Board of Realtors.

Sales were up in December for the first time since last May, and sales in the pipeline to close this month were up 3 percent.

There were 17,905 homes sold at a median price of $193,520 in all of 2010. 

There were 1,442 homes sold in December, up 6 percent from December of 2009.

There were 1,102 sales to close this month and 8,102 active listings.

Last year was the fourth year in a row where sales were lower than the year before.  Several real estate experts say they expect a rebound this year as the Austin job growth continues and the national economy recovers.