CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices soared 12.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain since February 2006, as more buyers are chasing fewer homes.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices also rose 3.2 percent in April from March, much better than the previous month's gain. And prices rose in April from the previous year in 48 states. The only states to show declines were Mississippi and Alabama.
Prices in Nevada jumped 24.6 percent from a year earlier, the most among the states. California posted a 19.4 percent gain, followed by Arizona, at 17.3 percent; Hawaii at 17 percent; and Oregon, at 15.5 percent.
More potential buyers are seeking to buy homes. At the same time, the number of houses for sale is 14 percent lower than it was a year ago. That's pushing up prices.
Rising home prices can help sustain the housing recovery. They encourage more homeowners to put their homes on the market, confident that they can sell at a good price. And they spur prospective homeowners to buy before prices increase further.
Home sales and prices began to recover last year, six years after the housing bust. They have been buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates.
Sales of previously-occupied homes ticked up to a 3
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