San Fernando Valley home sales started the year slower than expected and foreclosure rates rose year-over-year for the first time in more than three years, but median home prices climbed 8 percent, according to a report released Tuesday. The San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State University Northridge found that in January 965 units sold in the Valley, down 7.2 percent from January 2014. The largest decline was in the Northeast Valley area, where sales sank by 18 percent. On the bright side, prices climbed to $550,000, marking the 32nd straight month they have risen. But the median price is still down from its May 2007 peak of $660,000, the report said. William W. Roberts, director of the center, characterized the January sales level as “anemic” and said the data leads him to expect slow sales into this summer. “While January is a slow sales month, this is slower than expected. We expect a low level of sales and continued sluggish sales,” he said in a statement. Foreclosures in the Valley rose to 84, up 20 percent from the January 2014 level. Despite the increase, no ZIP code area had more than nine foreclosures. “With a continuing low level of foreclosures, we should expect to start seeing some slight increases and decreases on a month-to-month basis,” Roberts said.