LITTLE ROCK — The number of homes sold in Arkansas in December decreased by a little more than 6 percent compared to a year ago, and the average price of homes sold increased by almost 9 percent, the Arkansas Realtors Association reported Monday.

The association said 1,674 homes sold in the 42-county area it surveyed in December of last year, down from 1,785 in December 2011. The average price of a home was $161,074, up from $147,795 a year earlier.

For the year to date, Arkansas home sales were down slightly more than 1 percent compared to the same time last year, while the average price of homes sold was up a little more than 9 percent.

Pulaski and Benton counties tied for the most homes sold in December with 278 each. They were followed by Washington County with 156, Saline County with 97 and Sebastian County with 86. Eighteen homes sold in Jefferson County.

The average home prices for the month were highest in Fulton County at $260,000, followed by Cleburne County at $218,513, Garland County at $207,706, Cross County at $199,000 and Pulaski County at $198,211.

The average home price was $133,177 in in Sebastian County and $92,367 in Jefferson County.