WASHINGTON — Existing home sales rose 3.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted 4.62 million-unit rate, after a downwardly revised 4.47 million rate in March, originally reported as 4.48 million units, the National Association of Realtors announced Tuesday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted 4.60 million sales.

The April sales rate represented a 10.0% increase from April 2011.

The median sales price rose to $177,400, a 10.1% gain from a year ago.

Inventory levels climbed 9.5% to 2.54 million existing homes, representing a 6.6-months supply at the current pace, up from a downwardly revised 6.2 months in March. Inventory was down 20.6% from the April 2011 level, when it was a 9.1 month supply.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the new figures were “welcoming,” and might indicate a “breakout” year. He credited increasing job creation and stabilizing prices with fueling a housing recovery.

“A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points,” Yun said, “and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices.”

 

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