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News Summary: US home sales rise to 3½ year high

The Associated Press

In this Tuesday, April 2, 2013, photo, Sam and Liz Weidner, of Hudsonville, Mich., view a home for sale in Lowell, Mich. The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of previously occupied homes in April on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

HOME SALES: Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes edged up in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in April, the highest level in three and a half years. That is up from 4.94 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors.

MORE HOMES FOR SALE: The number of homes for sale rose 12 percent in April from March to 2.16 million. The increase partly reflects the beginning of the spring selling season. Prices are up too.

DEMAND RISING: More Americans are interested in purchasing homes: buyer traffic has risen 31 percent in the past year, the Realtors' group said. The median price of a home for sale jumped 11 percent last month from April 2012 to $192,800. That's the highest in nearly five years.