September home sales in Seattle increased 26.2% when compared to the same month last year, DataQuick said Wednesday. Sales in the area were spurred in part by reduced home prices across the market, the real estate data firm concluded. The metro area, which includes Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue, saw 3,747 new and resale home closings in September. While up significantly from a year earlier, it is down 11.8% from August. However, a seasonal decline from August to September -- the start of the school season -- is common, DataQuick said. Sales in the sub-$200,000 price range, which grew 71% from the year-ago period, buoyed Seattle's September home sales as the median sales price plummeted to a seven-year low. Buyers overall paid a median sales price of $259,000 on new and resale homes, down 1.7% from August and 9.1% from September of 2010. Meanwhile, sales in the $200,000-to-$600,000 price range jumped 6.8% from last year. And in the $600,000-to-$900,000 price segment, sales increased 27.1% year-over-year. Distressed properties made up half of the Seattle market's real estate closings in September. Write to Kerri Panchuk.