WASHINGTON - Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes ticked up last month to the highest level in three and a half years, helped by a jump in the number of houses for sale.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, up from 4.94 million in March.
Home sales have risen 9.7 percent in the past 12 months, evidence that the housing market is still improving.
But sales have been roughly flat since November. The supply of available homes remains tight and many potential buyers aren't able to get loans.
The number of homes for sale rose 12 percent in April from March to 2.16 million. But inventory is still almost 14 percent lower than a year earlier.