The number of home sales in Iowa has risen again this month, just as it has for the past 4 months. Sharla Howard with Golden Crest Reality says she’s noticed the increase, especially now around the holidays when sales normally slow down. She says the reason for the increase is low interest rates and new incentive programs for first time home buyers. The rates and programs have prompted a lot of people, first time home buyers or not, to purchase a home. She says that’s also good news for sellers, because homes sell quite a bit faster when interest rates are low, and with the programs for first time buyers, there are a lot of new customers looking at homes. She says the number of sales will probably fall during January, but expects the numbers to go back up in February after the holidays are over.