ZipRealty, the Emeryville, Calif. national real estate brokerage, reported Wednesday that active homes-for-sale inventory increased 7.16% from March to April, significantly higher than normal for this time of year. According to Zip, there were 743,357 homes for sale in its 18 major markets at the end of April, which, on an adjusted basis taking into account markets that were not reported a year ago, is 32.98% higher than April 2006.

The only market to report inventory shrinkage was Los Angeles, which, at -0.8%, was essentially flat. Compared to the same month in 2006, L.A.inventory still was up 39.7%.

The largest increases in inventory occurred in the San Francisco Bay area, which was up 18.7% sequentially and is up 51.1% year over year. Washington D.C. was up 17.3% sequentially and 15.4% year over year; Orange County was up 14.7% from March and 38.6% from April 2006; Seattle was up 13.9% sequentially and 63.2% year over year; and Sacramento was up 11.4% from March and 35.2% from last year.

Among other markets, on a sequentional basis, Baltimore was up 10.9%; Boston up 9.2%; Chicago up 11.2%; Dallas up 5.6%, Houston up 6.7%; Las Vegas up 7%; Miami up 3.8%; Minneapolis up 10.8%; Orlando up 5.1%; Phoenix up 5.5%; San Diego up 9.5% and Tampa up 1.3%.

The ZipRealty report is based on single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses listed for sale on Multiple Listing Services. The company also reports an index of price reductions expressed as a percentage of homes on the market that have been marked down. According to that index, 40% or more homes in Tampa, Sacramento, Phoenix, Orlando, Orange County, and Boston have been reduced. Some 35% TO 40% were reduced in Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego have taken price reductions. Chicago, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, and San Francisco were all between 30% and 35%. Dallas and Seattle were the only markets below 30%.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA.