Winter chills monthly housing sales and statistics

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The long stretch of frigid temperatures is being blamed for keeping home buyers from making deals in February.

The Star Tribune reports that the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors suspects that persistent sub-zero weather put the brakes on homes sales in the 13-county metro area last month. Closings fell by 14 percent and new listings declined by 5 percent. Sales also cooled in January.

The story also said that the overall inventory stood at 11,975 properties, a 9.6 percent decline and a 10-year low. The Pioneer Press explained that the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors finds that inventory decline is linked to fewer bargain-priced bank-listed properties on the market. The story said that the 22-month trend of fewer distressed sales is expected to continue.

In other encouraging news, MPR News notes that the median sales price for a Twin Cities home climbed to about $183,000 in February, up 14 percent compared to the same month last year. February saw the 24 straight month of year-over-year median price gains.

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