Housing sales/prices up from a year ago

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The state's housing market softened in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the quarter before, but remained stronger than a year ago.

That's according to a new report from the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.

Sales of existing homes declined 8.6 percent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2013. But they were still 9.2 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2012.

The report says the statewide median home sales price during the fourth quarter was 6 percent above a year ago at $256,300. Price increases were especially strong in the metropolitan Seattle area.

Median home prices ranged from $70,000 in Lincoln County to $421,000 in King County.