Home sales continued to climb from a year ago, according to the February report from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

Deals closed last month on 1,544 houses, up from 1,161 a year ago in February, MLSLI said.

A year ago in February, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which waived repayment of the first-time home buyers tax credit to snap the housing market out of its doldrums. That incentive, which was expanded late last year to certain homeowners, has driven sales up, especially late last year, when the credit was originally set to expire Nov. 30.

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In February this year, Nassau had 538 closings last month, compared to 407 a year ago, MLSLI data show. Suffolk had 555, compared to 421 a year ago, according to figures. Queens had 451, up from 333 a year ago, the trade group said.

Under the current home buyers tax credit, contracts must be signed by April 30 and closings done by June 30. Those who haven't owned a home in the past three years are eligible. Also, current homeowners who have lived in their homes for five consecutive years in the past eight are also eligible if they buy.