Home sales, inventory both tick up in April

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The pace of existing-home sales picked up in April, and while the number of homes on the market grew even faster, an "acute shortage of inventory" in some markets is driving up prices and creating multiple-bid situations, the National Association of Realtors said today.Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops were up 3.4 percent from March to April, NAR said, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million. That's a 10 percent increase from the 4.2 million homes-per-year pace seen at the same time a year ago.Distressed properties -- foreclosures and short sales sold at discounts -- accounted for a smaller percentage of sales in April (28 percent) then they did a year ago (37 percent).That helped boost the median existing-home price for all housing types in April by 10.1 percent from a year ago, to $177,400. Median home prices were also up 3.1 percent in March, marking the first time since the summer of 2010 that median prices have posted ...