Home sales in Houston grew to their greatest volume since last August, and average and median pricing achieved the highest levels for an April in Houston, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

April sales of single-family homes climbed 9.6% compared to April of 2011, marking the largest monthly increase of the year.

"The Houston real estate market continues to benefit from a healthy economic climate led primarily by the addition of 96,000 new jobs locally in the past 12 months, according to the Texas Workforce Commission," said Wayne Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. "Increases in pending home sales along with declines in active listings continue to keep our housing inventory at the lowest levels we've seen in more than three years."

Month-end pending sales for April totaled 4,059, up 7.8% from last year. The number of available properties at the end of April declined 18.8% year-over-year to 42,525. Inventory of single-family homes has stayed below a six-month supply since December, coming in at 5.7 months in April, down from 7.8 months the year before.

The April Houston single-family home average price rose 11.2% year-over-year to $223,328, the highest level for an April in Houston. The increase came from a surge in sales activity among homes priced from $250,000 and above and a decline in the sales of homes priced below $80,000. The median price rose 8.2% to $160,120, also a record high for an April.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service fell 10.1% year-over-year in April. Foreclosures comprised 18.8% of all property sales, down dramatically from the 27.8% recorded at the beginning of the year. The median price of foreclosures in April ticked up 1.1% to $79,900.

April sales of all property types in Houston totaled 6,156, an increase of 9.9% compared to April 2011 (click chart below).

Houston Home Sales