The Indianapolis area’s housing market has started the year on an up-note.

Sales of existing homes in January in the metro area jumped 28 percent, to 1,344, from a year ago. The median price of sold homes rose as well, up 4.7 percent to $116,213, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors said today.

“The momentum of a strong second half of 2011 has kicked the housing market into gear early this year,” Debbie Morris, MIBOR president, said in a statement.

One troubling statistic: There’s more discounting going on. Home sellers in January received only 85.9 percent of their original list price, compared to 88.9 percent in January a year ago and 87.3 percent in December.

The area housing market is coming off a weak 2011 that saw sales edge up just 1.2 percent over 2010.