SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The number of single-family homes sold in the San Diego area was down 31 percent in January compared to the previous month, according to a report released Friday by the San Diego Association of Realtors.

Nearly 1,200 houses changed hands last month, compared to more than 1,700 in the previous month, and the median price edged down 1.6 percent -- from $375,000 to $368,750, according to the report.

"It's somewhat disappointing to see the dip in sales after the increase we experienced in December," said Bob Kevane, association president. "However, January typically posts lower numbers, and the coming months are when we normally see more activity in the market."

Rough times extended into the condominium market, as well.

According to the report, condo sales in January dropped 15 percent compared to December, and 4.9 percent compared to January 2010.

The median sales price of an attached home was $200,000 last month, a decline of 8.3 percent from December and 4.7 percent compared to January 2010.

Despite the substantial month-to-month drop in the number of sales of detached homes, it was still 1.9 percent higher than a year ago, and the median price compared to one year earlier was up 1.3 percent.

"Many economists have pointed to San Diego as one of the areas that will experience the strongest housing recovery in terms of home values in 2011," Kevane said. "As home values pick up, we can expect an increase in move-up buyers, which will open up more inventory in the entry-level market."