Home sales rose in the six-county Southern California region in October, and while the median sales price was lower, it was by the smallest annual decline in two years, according to MDA DataQuick. There were 22,132 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties during the month of October. Sales were up 2.8% both on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. It’s the 16th consecutive month with year-over-year sales increases. The average change in sales volume between September and October is a 1% decline. Last month was the busiest October since 2006, when 23,745 residences were sold. Since 1988, October sales have ranged from a low of 12,913 in October 2007 to a high of 37,642 in October 2003, MDA DataQuick said. The firm said some of the deals that closed on September included short sales, which, had they been traditional transactions, would have closed in August or September. The median price paid was $280,000 in the region, up 1.8% from $275,000 in September but down 6.7% from $300,000 in October 2008. It’s the smallest annual decline since September 2007, when the median decreased 4%. Orange County experienced a 3.9% annual gain in its overall median price last month. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages accounted for 38.3% of all of the region’s purchase loans last month, compared with 32.5% last year and just 2% two years ago. “The government is playing a huge role in stabilizing and, to some extent, reinvigorating the housing market,” said MDA DataQuick president John Walsh. “Its actions have triggered ultra-low mortgage rates, plentiful low-down-payment, FHA financing, an extended and expanded tax credit for home buyers, and programs and political pressure aimed at reducing foreclosures.” Foreclosure resales accounted for 40.6% of all resales in October, up slightly from 40.4% in September. Write to Austin Kilgore.