Sonoma County’s home sales continued to trend lower in October, but some agents are hoping that an autumn bump in new signed contracts will translate into completed holiday sales.

Buyers completed the purchase of 394 single-family homes last month, according to The Press Democrat’s monthly housing report compiled by Pacific Union International Vice President Rick Laws. Sales declined 11 percent from a year earlier and amounted to the lowest number for October in four years.

To date this year, county home sales have declined 7 percent compared to the first 10 months of 2013.

But in the midst of the traditional end-of-year slowdown, buyers and sellers last month signed contracts to buy 485 homes. That was the most for October in three years.

Some of those contracts, often called pending sales, almost certainly will be canceled, while many others won’t be completed until December. Even so, brokers noted that the number of October’s signed agreements exceeded those made in both August and September.

“I’m a little surprised, but we may have a stronger finish to this year than we anticipated we would,” said Laws. He was unsure of the reason for the increase.

The county’s median price last month declined 2.2 percent from September to $485,000. The October median increased 6 percent from a year ago.

— Robert Digitale