Sales of existing homes were up 2.9 percent in April with increases in both the single-family and multi-family segments. The NAR noted that the portion of sales that were related to distressed properties fell back to 45 percent from the 50 percent registered in March. Foreclosures are still putting considerable pressure on the market.

Sales Bounced Back

• Sales bounced back in April after declining by a roughly equivalent amount in March. Sales continued to hold within a band that has held since late 2008. While sales may not have yet reached an absolute bottom, clearly a bottoming process is underway.

• Single-family activity has shown much of the same trend over the last six months, holding a fairly tight range of activity.

Inventory Moved Higher as Well

• Inventory levels climbed higher, which may be at least partially attributed to the start of the spring selling season. Even with the seasonal explanation, we would like to see more progress in clearing out excess inventory. Prices will continue to see pressure until more progress is made on inventory.

• Median prices were roughly flat on the month but are still down more than 15 percent over the past year.