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July home sales up from a year ago

Many more people were on the move this summer than last summer.

Many more people were on the move this summer than last summer.

Moving companies were much busier last month than in July 2010, according to a recently released National Association of Realtors home sales report.

Total existing home sales hit 4.67 million last month, up 21 percent compared to July 2010, when buying slowed after the expiration of homebuyer tax credits, the report shows.

Nationwide, this year's July sales were 3.5 percent lower than in June, but month-over-month sales increased by 1 percent in the Midwest and 2.7 percent in the Northeast. This accords with recent Clear Capital data showing a strong second quarter for the Northeast's housing market, with sales prices rising significantly in Pittsburgh, New York City and Rochester, New York.

Sales declined in July by 1.6 percent in the South and 12.6 percent in the West, according to the NAR.

July's national median sales price was $174,000. The median price was higher in the Northeast ($245,600) and the West ($208,300) and lower in the South ($152,600) and Midwest ($146,300). Median prices were down on a year-over-year basis in every region.

Midwest cities dominated a recent Forbes ranking of the most affordable places to live in the United States. Sandusky, Ohio, nabbed the number one spot, followed by Monroe, Michigan, Kokoma, Indiana, Bay City, Michigan, and Springfield, Ohio.