An unusually warm winter and low interest rates compelled more homebuyers in Minneapolis-St. Paul to sign home purchase agreements in February. 

Buyers in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area signed 3,756 purchase agreements, up 34.2% from a year earlier, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

The association said more homebuyers entered into purchase agreements last month than in any other February in the past six years.

Sellers also were more active last month with 5,366 newly listed properties on the books, up 1.1% from February 2011.

"The mix of homes selling is slowly starting to change which has translated into the smallest price decline since October 2010," said Cari Linn, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. "Subsiding price declines are a sign of market rebalance."

Traditional sales grew 36.2% while foreclosure sales increased 8.5%.

Affordable prices reined in the market during the month of February with the median sales price dropping 1.4% from last year to $138,000. Prices on traditional homes fell 11% to $183,000 over year-ago prices, while foreclosure prices fell 1.4% to $104,000. Meanwhile, short sale prices declined 17.1% to $116,000. 

kpanchuk@housingwire.com