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Midwest home sales up in February

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Midwest home sales improved nearly 10 percent over last year as tax credits and low interest rates continued to motivate buyers.

The National Association of Realtors released figures Tuesday showing 68,000 sales in the 11-state region in February, and the median sales price fell 2 percent to $128,000.

"There are a lot of buyers right now who are hopping off the fence," said Realtor Al Stasek with Re/Max Crossroads in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River.

Stasek said he hopes interest rates will remain at their current levels through summer so that the real estate market can maintain some momentum after the April 30 tax-credit deadline.

In February, Midwest sales improved more than the nation as a whole. Non-seasonally adjusted figures showed total February homes sales increased 8 percent over last year. The median home price nationally fell 2 percent to $165,100.

But sales fell on an annual basis in 10 of the 12 major Midwestern cities tracked in the Associated Press-Re/Max Monthly Housing Report, also released Tuesday.

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