Baton Rouge metro-area home sales rose 7 percent in January, as Realtors sold 466 homes compared with 435 that month last year.

Dollar volume was $81.8 million, up 6 percent from $77.0 million in January 2012, according to figures compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors.

The eight-parish market began posting double-digit percentage gains last year and low interest rates and rising consumer confidence appear to be continuing into 2013.

Saiward Hromadka, spokeswoman for the association, said the median sales price rose to $162,312 from $156,000 and inventory crept up into buyer’s market territory.

Inventory in January was 3,862 homes, about 8.3 months worth of homes at the current absorption rate. A balanced market is considered five to seven months worth of inventory.

Average current days on market was up slightly to 132 days, compared with 125 in January 2012.

Echoing recent comments of local agents, Hromadka said it’s a good time for prospective homebuyers to enter the market because homes are priced competitively.

“The spring sales season is off to a strong start,” she said.

The metro area is made up of East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Iberville, East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes.