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Distressed property sales accounted for more than half of the resales.
Investors and cash buyers spurred the sharp rise for the highest number of February home sales in five years.
Home sales in the region reached their highest levels in five years.
The decline was caused by a drop in sub-$200,000 sales from a year ago.
Robust sales of homes below $200,000 spurred sales last month.
January home sales were up 10% from a year ago.
Traditional buyers retreated as investors snapped up homes at a record pace.
There was increased activity in sales below $200,000.
The year-over-year increase was the sixth consecutive month of higher sales.
The sales were fueled by a record number of absentee buyers.