Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Buyers put a dent in inventories

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The inventory of homes for sale fell 11.7 percent in April compared to a year ago, to 8.1 months, according to a survey by the Associated Press and RE/MAX International.All but nine of 55 markets surveyed saw sales increase from March to April, RE/MAX said, with the largest increases in markets that have seen the greatest price declines. Sales were up 84.9 percent from a year ago in Las Vegas, 79.4 percent in Phoenix, 56.2 percent in Miami, and 47.2 percent in Los Angeles.The survey estimated the median home price at $182,913, down 0.7 percent from March and 21.9 percent from a year ago -- a trend attributed to the slower pace of sales of high-end properties.Higher-priced homes "will not start selling until jumbo loans are more easily available to the consumer," said Margaret Kelly, chief executive officer of RE/MAX International, Inc., in a statement. A recent report by the National Association of Realtors estimated that homes priced above $750,000 accounted for 4.4 percent ...