The national median home price rose for the third straight month in April, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. In the 53 metropolitan areas surveyed, home prices inched up 3.2% from last month, and rose 5.9% from April 2011.

Inventory also fell considerably over year-ago figures, indicating a potentially stronger market for home prices going forward.

The inventory of homes for sale in April declined 25.6% from year-ago numbers and dipped 3.7% from March. RE/MAX attributed the decline to fewer foreclosure properties coming to market. Month-to-month inventories have now fallen for 22 straight months.

Home prices, meanwhile, have been increasing since February, when home prices experienced their first gains after 18 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.

Home sales are also up — April’s numbers were 4.1% higher than April of last year, making April the 10th month sales have showed year-over-year increases.

Inventory, months supply and days on market are all trending lower. The report indicates that, at current levels of sales and inventory, an up-tick in foreclosure properties could be absorbed if they entered the market over a reasonable time period.

“It’s encouraging to see several improving economic and housing indicators, which are pointing to a continuing real estate recovery,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX.

Closed sales transactions in April were slightly higher than March at 0.1%, but still 4.1% higher than April 2011.

Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in April, 39 saw higher sales than one year ago, and of those, 18 saw double-digit increases including: Milwaukee, Wis., +38.4%; Albuquerque, N.M., +30.2%; Nashville, Tenn., +26.2%; Providence, R.I., +21.7%; Des Moines, Iowa, +21.4%; and Chicago +19.8%.

The average days on market for all home sales in April dropped five days from March’s 101 to 96 — lower than the 98-day average in April of last year.

The average months supply is 5.3, the same number as March, but down from April 2011’s 7.1. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.