Last year marked a turnaround for the Lowcountry's real estate market.

So, how's 2013 doing?

Better than 2012, that's if the number of homes under contract is any guide.

The winter doldrums usually mean slow sales activity for the real estate market until springtime. I mean, who really wants to be bouncing between home listings in the wintertime?

Apparently, many since there were 299 homes under contract in the Lowcountry between Feb. 1 and 7, according to local housing data site CharlestonReal EstateStats.com.

Doug Holmes, an agent with Carolina One Real Estate who analyzes market statistics for the website, predicted Friday that the figure would top 300 once the data are updated.

The last time the Lowcountry's real estate market had 300 homes under contact in a week was in 2010, but that was when a federal tax credit program for buyers still was available.

As usual, January started off slow, but things cranked up as the month went on.

“January is usually not that robust, but to see numbers like that makes me very happy,” Holmes said. “I knew it was going to be a good year, and this just confirms that.”

The drivers of home sales this year continue to be cheap home prices and low mortgage rates.

A clearer snapshot is expected today, when the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors releases January sales.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.