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CHARLESTON COUNTYOct. 2012: 489 sales; median price of $225,000Oct. 2011: 346 sales/$227,000BERKELEY COUNTYOct. 2012: 206 sales/$157,495Oct. 2011: 166 sales/$168,217DORCHESTER COUNTYOct. 2012: 173 sales/$167,500Oct. 2011: 140 sales/$155,950Charleston Trident Association of Realtors

Home sales in the Charleston region have been climbing now for 12 consecutive months, a milestone confirmed in the latest local housing report.

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said Tuesday that 894 homes changed hands in October, up more than 30 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

The preliminary tally brings the year-to-date total to 8,794 homes sold at a median price of $187,597, up from 7,827 homes sold at a median price of $179,925 through October 2011.

“This shows we are just back to a healthy and consistent market and prices,” said association spokeswoman Meghan Weinreich.

The group’s monthly reports have pointed to a gradual turnaround in residential real estate trends since October 2011. Sales have been rising, inventories have been falling and the overall uptick in the median price suggests that broader real estate values are starting to rise.

Tuesday’s housing report wasn’t all positive.

The data showed a 2 percent drop in the median price for the month compared to October 2011, the first year-over-year decline in at least 12 months.

Weinreich said the dip could have been triggered by short sales, foreclosures or sellers who aggressively priced their homes to “ensure a closing before the holiday season and/or end of the year.”

The region’s home sales growth has been aided by lower prices and mortgage rates compared to years ago, as well as investors who are buying properties to convert into rental units.

The investor activity coincides with the November report by national real estate analysis firm CoreLogic.

The report cited investor demand for rental properties as one of the “short- to medium-term factors driving this recovery.”

Local real estate officials have said first-time buyers and other factors, including the improved jobs market, are also helping to drive sales.

The association’s new report noted that homes are selling faster and that inventory continues to decline, shifting the advantage to sellers in some areas, like Mount Pleasant and West Ashley.

Also on Tuesday, the group revised its sale data for September to show 885 homes sold at a median price of $190,000.

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