Home prices in the Twin Cities reached an 8-year high in April as the median sales price shot up 12.4% over last year to $163,000, an industry group said Thursday.

Home prices have not jumped that high year-over-year since January 2004, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said in a new report.

Traditional home sales rose 58.8% in April year-over-year, while foreclosures fell 8.1% and short sales grew by 13.8%.

Distressed properties represented 34% of all new listings and 39.3% of all pending sales, the smallest market shares recorded in four years, MAAR said.

All the data suggests signs of a market turnaround with sales up, foreclosure down and distressed properties representing a smaller share of the marketplace.

Traditional home prices in April declined 2.2% to $198,500, while foreclosure prices increased 15.9% to $119,000. Short sale prices declined 4.4% to $129,000.

"We're impressed with the accelerating improvements," said Andy Fazendin, MAAR president-elect. "High-quality, move-in-ready inventory is limited. Those waiting for falling prices will likely be disappointed."

Inventory levels also are declining with the number of homes for sale down 29.2% from last year to 17,312 real estate listings. This is the lowest inventory level recorded since January of 2004.