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New data from RealtyTrac show nearly half of all home sales in Arizona are being sold to people paying cash.

The company's February report showed the state has the ninth highest percentage of houses being bought with cash in the country at 49.4 percent.

The high rate of all-cash purchases is due to a recent increase in interest rates.

“A year ago interest rates were a full point lower," said Tucson Association of REALTORS President Steve Redmond. "Even though they could pay cash, they may have chosen to do financing because it was so incredibly inexpensive.”

Statistics from the the association show Tucson has a lower percentage of homes being sold to all-cash buyers.

In February, 37 percent of homes sales in the city were to all-cash buyers.

RealtyTrac’s report also showed Arizona has the second highest percentage of homes purchased by investment groups. Those groups also tend to make cash purchases.

Also, home sales around the state continuing a slow decline, the report said.

Residential sales around the state were down 0.6 percent from January to February, and down 10.4 percent over the last year.

The median sales price has gone up 13 percent over the last year, and now sits at $164,299.

The Tucson Association of Realtors reported the median home price in the Tucson-area is slightly lower than the state average at $158,000.

That’s a drop of 0.35 percent from January, but an increase of 6.52 percent over the last year.