By Karen Wilkinson

Triplicate staff writer

Home sales in Del Norte County last month rose a bit from November, putting it in second place for highest median prices in 2006.

andquot;It seems like the bottom is over, and the activity level seems to have increased drastically,andquot; said Mike Nolan, a real estate agent with Re/Max Coastal Redwoods. andquot;And buyers are trying to get that great buy.andquot;

The median price of single-family homes and manufactured homes on land jumped to $285,000, according to the Crescent City Board of Realtors. This puts December right behind February's median price, when sales nearly reached the $300,000 mark, at $299,000.

Compared to a year ago, prices seem to be swelling, as December 2005 boasted a $210,000 median price.

andquot;We're seeing homes move on the market,andquot; said Dan Phillips of Ming Tree Realty. andquot;You're starting to see the reasonable priced homes move.andquot;

Last month, 21 homes sold, four which were manufactured homes on land. The average price of was $281,238.

Most homes sold were andquot;reasonably pricedandquot; and didn't sell for their initial listing price, Phillips said.

Unique, rare homes always take longer to sell, even if the market's strong, he said, but more common, three-bedroom, two bathroom homes are selling, provided they're not overpriced.

The most expensive home sold for $500,000, down from the original listing price of $535,000. The 2,500 square-feet, four bedroom and two-and-a-half bathroom home that sits adjacent to U.S. Hwy. 101 just across from the KOA Crescent City Redwoods campground, is nestled in the trees and was built in 1993.

The least expensive home sold for $141,000, down from its original $142,000 listing. The 958-square feet Jordan Street home built in 1959 has two bedrooms, one bathroom and was built in 1959.

December's healthy sales was a combination of many factors, Nolan said.

Retirees still are looking to Del Norte to find property, he said, continuing the trend of prime ocean-view homes to be in high demand.

The market outlook for 2007 appears to be rosy, Phillips said, andquot;from the indications we've had the first few days of this year.andquot;

andquot;We've got buyers coming in,andquot; he said, andquot;(and) we're still in the situation where we're a nice place to live, we don't have snow and the market prices are reasonable.andquot;