WASHINGTON , DC – Existing-home sales rose in April and remain above a year ago, while home prices continued to rise, says the National Association of Realtors.Copnsumers are moving into a market that had been dominated by investors snapping up repossessed and abandoned homes.

Improvements in sales and prices were broad based across all region, says NAR, with total existing-home sales increasing 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in April from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March, 10 percent higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011.

“It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices.”

Some areas with tight supply include the Washington, DC, area; Miami; Naples, FL; North Dakota; Phoenix; Orange County, CA; and Seattle. “We expect stronger price increases in most of these areas.”

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