Home sales in San Diego County jumped by 34.7 percent in January, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices dropped 34.7 percent, a real estate information service reported Thursday.A total of 2,459 homes sold in January, up from 1,826 for January 2008, while the median price of a home in San Diego County last month was $280,000, down from $429,000 in the same month a year ago, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick.According to DataQuick, home sales in the six-county Southern California region in January jumped by 52.5 percent over the same month last year, while home prices dipped 39.8 percent to $250,000."We've heard a lot of talk, regarding the decline in home values, about how `no one wants to catch a falling knife,"' said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. "But for months we've seen quite a flurry of sales activity in many inland areas where prices have fallen more in line with local incomes. We can only assume that many first-time buyers, investors and others buying in these areas have concluded it's not worth trying to time the price bottom perfectly. They're happy to lock in substantial discounts relative to the peak."A total of 15,227 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 23.6 percent from 19,926 in December and up 52.5 percent from 9,983 in January 2008.The median price of a Southern California home was $250,000 in January. The median price was down 10.1 percent from December and down 39.8 percent from $415,000 in January 2008.